Foreword by Chris Shugart Editor: Tony Schwartz Photos: Patrick Lemieux, Jean Boutet Jr.

CHAPTER 1
Introduction

In this chapter …
- About me - What you’ll get from this book - About the editor

About the author
Power Broker An Interview with Christian Thibaudeau by Chris Shugart (Originally published at www.t-mag.com) T-mag listens to its readers. When we get a lot of feedback about a particular article or a contributor, we pay attention. After Christian Thibaudeau published a few articles with us, the message we received from readers was pretty clear: "We want to hear more from that guy!" Thibaudeau (pronounced Tee-Bow-Doh) is yet another French Canadian phenom in the strength and conditioning community. He's successfully trained a wide array of athletes from Olympic lifters and strongmen to hockey players and figure skaters. He's also a competitive Olympic weightlifter, a football coach, and is completing his M.Sc. degree in exercise science. Judging from his articles so far at T-mag, he also knows a heck of a lot about packing on mass. We decided to sit down with Thibaudeau and pick his brain about a variety of topics. Testosterone: Let's start off with some personal history. What's your athletic background and how did that lead to you becoming a coach yourself? Christian Thibaudeau: I was the kid that nobody ever selected for dodgeball in grade school. You know the type: skinny-fat with no athletic ability, much less physical capacities. The sad thing is that I loved sports. I watched every type of sport there was on TV, day in and day out. I loved athletics so much but was about the worst athlete in the world! T: I've seen you lift and obviously a lot has changed! What happened? CT: When I turned 11, I decided that enough was enough. I actually started doing pushups, sit-ups and other such exercises every day. While it didn’t turn me into a future Olympian, it did improve my self-esteem somewhat. From that moment on I was hooked on training! In high school I was able to make the football team as a receiver. That’s when I really started working out hard. I was about 13 years old and would train every lunch hour. When I look back I must say that I started my training career doing exactly the opposite of what all the others did. Most guys start off training only their upper body; I only worked my legs. I reasoned that as a receiver I only needed strong legs. By the time I turned 17 I was a trainaholic! I was playing linebacker and trained every chance I had. In the morning I'd do biceps curls to look good at school (yeah, I’ve been that guy!), at lunchtime I'd train my legs, and in the evening I'd work my upper body. The

Ironically. I’ve got what I'd call good overall strength. As a result I only gained a little mass and ended my high school career at 5’9" and 175 pounds. you once wrote that aerobic conditioning was overrated for boxers. In the winter my clientele is mostly comprised of football players and figure skaters. and bench press are concerned and I started Olympic lifting too late to be an international force. but it does show some strength balance. power cleaned 145kg (319lbs) from the hang for four reps. snatched 132. I’m also a football coach and that takes up a lot of my time. T: Judging from your training photos. On some days I have 15 to 20 athletes training together. squat. I also train football players in my group.sad thing is that I was addicted to working out. I always loved athletes and I consider any chance I get to work with them a blessing. that’s what prompted my interest in training. In college I really started to train intelligently.! What are your best lifts? CT: Well. I'm guessing you're now one strong and powerful S. I realized that I liked training more than playing football. at least for a 19-year-old kid. In the summer I spend five to eight hours a day training hockey players." but that's pretty damn impressive to most people! Switching gears. I’m not extremely strong in a few lifts. So after my "career" was over I turned to Olympic lifting. I also competed in strongmen competitions. I’ve also push pressed 150kg (330lbs). and I had strength to match. And I feel it’s not that bad for the worst genetics on the planet! T: Well.5kg (357lbs). you may not be an "international force. that’s their off-season. there wasn't a day in which I wouldn't curse my lack of talent. What about everyone else? . We keep in touch but I don't train them directly. power snatched 120kg (264lbs). I don't train the bench press more than three months or so out of the year but I’ve done 180kg (395lbs). but at 5’9" it’s hard to be competitive.O. but knew nothing of nutrition. Our team had a very good strength coach (whom I’m now working with) and my weight went up to 225 pounds in two years. Basically I never had talent at any sport. Nothing to write home about. I can't compete with elite powerlifters as far as the deadlift. front squatted 200kg (440lbs). During the season most leave for their respective team.B.5kg (291lbs) with straps. I've cleaned 170kg (374lbs) from blocks. I did fairly well. regardless of their level. As I said. Today I actually think of it as a blessing in disguise. but I just love working with young athletes. full squatted 255kg (561lbs) with no suit or wraps. That makes for a very positive and motivating atmosphere. T: What do you do now as a coach? What's your week like? CT: My schedule varies during the year. but I have no weakness. clean and jerked 162.

More recently Brian Haycock has also brushed the subject. Bodybuilders pretty much have the slow. Basically. etc. Mel C. To promote it you must use methods which lead to a high level of muscular tension.. Your car is heavier but you don't have more power to balance that increase in weight. It might make you look good. controlled exercises covered. You should see the body of hockey player Alex Tremblay. Athletes should focus on functional hypertrophy. the leading scorer in Canadian University Hockey. Most natural bodybuilding competitors look like Fat Albert next to him! T: You've also written about something called non-functional hypertrophy. seriously I think it all comes down to a variety of stimulus. Dr. T: Cool. but it certainly won't make you efficient! It’s the classic case of looking like Tarzan but playing like Jane. collagen. My athletes never do any aerobic work. they'll do a lot of 50 to 60 seconds sprints while pulling a light sled. T: And in English that would mean…. However. Siff is probably one of the first to have explained this concept. I feel these training methods are much more sport specific and more effective at burning body fat. but I've always believed if you attack an enemy via several fronts you stand a greater chance of winning. Tell us about that. CT: Non-functional hypertrophy is like adding weight to your car without touching the engine.CT: It’s overrated for everybody but distance athletes. The two best examples of functional hypertrophy are the Westside Barbell Club lifters and elite Olympic weightlifters. CT: I’m not the first to talk about non-functional hypertrophy. Why should a bodybuilder — or just some guy wanting to look big and powerful — use Olympic lifting? CT: Because I said so! Nah. They use mostly moderate tension/long TUT methods which are good to some extent. We’re talking about heavy-load training and explosive training. non-functional hypertrophy refers to gains in muscle size that aren't associated with an improved capacity to produce force. lots of 400m running with short rest intervals and lots of HIIT type running. That could either be due to hypertrophy of the non-contractile elements of the muscle structure (sarcoplasm. We see a lot of stuff these days encouraging bodybuilders to incorporate Olympic lifts into their training.) or an increase in fiber size that's excessive and leads to internal friction which reduces concentric force potential. Same thing goes with training! .

Explosive training. I’ve also seen Adam Archuletta perform bench press throws. kinda like strongmen and highland game athletes who throw objects for height. you just can't win without them. I hate the Smith machine. I do feel that with proper supplementation and nutrition you can approach the effects of steroids. this last option can be a viable choice. F = ma [Force equals mass times acceleration]. I'd say that the Olympic lifts are superior to develop whole-body power. T: Okay. Alexeyev himself used what he called "snatch throws" in which he'd throw the bar for height. Is that a real training technique or just a flamboyant way of committing suicide? CT: Funny you should mention that! I’ve seen a form of bar throwing drill performed by many athletes. let's change subjects. but speaking of lifting explosively. but I know that for 90% of the athletes out there. then catching it. but I feel that they’re not as bad as most people think they are. given that I still compete in a tested sport and that I work with a lot of young athletes. Sad but true. T: Can you give us an example? CT: The Westside guys use the bench press and squat because these are their main competition lifts. at least as far as strength and power are concerned. I'd recommend using only multi-joint exercises for that purpose. I think he called them "Katzenjammers. I've used this drill myself. Including regular lifts that are performed explosively is a good start. which increases growth stimulus. What's your general opinion of steroids? CT: That’s hard to answer in my position. In some sports. I think TC wrote about using the Smith machine this way back in the early days of T-mag. but for some guys who don’t have access to an Olympic lifting coach." Anyhow. I equate it to a jump squat for the upper body and thus recommend using 20 to 30% of your max bench press. steroids are necessary to reach the top. not just the Olympic lifts. In fact. By using high-acceleration exercises you increase force output. but an athlete or bodybuilder could use the same method with other exercises. but I believe this is one instance in which it might actually be useful. bodybuilders don't have to use the Olympic lifts. But in all fairness. though. I read something once about actually throwing the bar up out of your hands while benching. T: Very interesting! In fact. I'd certainly not give them to my athletes. which increases intramuscular tension. but he was using a contraption similar to a Smith machine. creates a very brief but extremely high intramuscular tension. this may sound crazy. I hate to make . This is a powerful growth stimulus that shouldn't be forgotten.

hockey players must do a lot of aerobic work. I'm also evaluating Myostat and I use creatine. One of the greatest mistakes made by parents is early specialization. protein digestive enzymes. For one. but only intermittently. for athletes who decide to use steroids. That complicates your job because in the end. The greatest athletes are motor geniuses. sound better.generalizations. They seem to be great despite their level of knowledge. but I’ve seen it work! I’ve had numerous athletes gain 20 pounds of muscle and 10 to 15% on all major lifts in three months from hard training and an optimal supplementation regimen. A child should participate in many different activities. What things or people in your field drive you crazy and really piss you off? CT: There are two things that drive me nuts. they hold the big end of the stick. ZMA." e. The thing is. I know it sounds corny. The other thing that drives me nuts is the constant need to "sell. I believe that gymnastics are a great sport introduction for most kids. Here in Canada parents will decide to turn their son into the next Mario Lemieux when he’s five years old! From then on he'll only practice hockey. be bigger than life.g. my own supplement cabinet contains flax seed oil in industrial quantities. I'm sometimes astounded about how little they know about diet and training. Depending on the goals I might add a few things. multivitamins. I feel that a short cycle approach is optimal. When you come up with novel training approaches these coaches are often skeptical and some are downright against what you’re doing. figure skaters can’t do strength training or they’ll get too big. pretty much everything has been done! At least everything that’s really effective. First are the sport coaches. Big mistake! I believe that during childhood it’s important to develop all motor abilities and that requires a wide array of stimulations." You gotta' be more innovative than the others. that’s the period during which elite athletes are made. etc. I believe this is a great list for any athlete. T: Any supplements you consider essential? CT: Well. But many coaches . but motor potential can be greatly improved during childhood. it depends on the needs (and budget) of the athlete. Motor control is somewhat predetermined. In my opinion. Is this a testament to superior genes. M. Tribex-500. In most sports there's a certain "training tradition. But if it’s going to give you an idea. Grow!. great coaches. but now I think that superior motor control is the reason. However. and Power Drive. but an optimal supplementation stack could give most people 50% of the results of a steroid cycle. T: Let's get to the ugly stuff. Obviously for bodybuilders it’s another story. T: When it comes to professional athletes. or what? CT: A year ago I would've said superior genes.

Innovation is good. T: Agreed. I feel that neglecting the hamstrings while building a big squat is a surefire way of getting injured. Always be wary of the guy who sounds impressive. I won’t point any fingers but they're generally the people who. I also believe that most athletes don't use supplements wisely. T: You once wrote. "on the Smith Machine. I do believe that the squat is the best exercise to develop lower-body strength. shout." Was that a jab at some people in the coaching field? CT: You better believe it! I feel there are many coaches out there who try to make their mark by sounding intelligent and spouting complex words and concepts. what are they overlooking that could really help them? CT: If you read my T-mag hamstring article you’ll have the answer: they need better hamstrings! Most athletes will benefit immediately from additional hamstring work. What missing ingredients do you see in athletes and bodybuilders? In other words. I’d go with snatch grip deadlift and push press. deep down. lack confidence. The one thing that sickens me about the squat is that it's been turned into a macho lift.— who are trying to look better then they are — always come up with new stuff only for novelty’s sake. But there are some that aren't much better than doing nothing! I personally don't think too highly of any sentence that ends. what do you think of the squat? CT: Obviously. T: Not surprising in this crazy industry! Now. Nothing beats it. I’ve only seen two approaches that athletes take in regard to supplementation: They either ignore it or they shotgun it! Those who use supplements don't know what they’re taking or why they're taking them half the time. T: What's the most useless. but there's such a thing as too much of a good thing. "Complexity is the language of simple minds. and do one-eigth of a rep! I feel that when it . yet most don't. too many of them "overtake" supplements. Plus. I like to use the term "missing ingredient" a lot. The guy will load up the plates. Any exercise is better than doing nothing. However. Just for the fun of it. Balance and timing is more important than sheer quantity. give me an exercise that you feel all weight-trained athletes should be using. For regular individuals and bodybuilders. but not at the expense of efficiency. These people are also known for clinging to other better known coaches to help their own progression and to multiply personal attacks on other coaches. T: As an Olympic lifter. CT: For athletes I’d say the power snatch from blocks. worst exercise out there that people put in their programs? CT: There aren’t really any "bad" exercises. All exercises are good. grunt.

but it’s just not that effective. T: You train combat athletes. He was intelligent enough to recognize the value of the Olympic lifts for skaters. I don't see the leg press as a main exercise. What do you do with them exactly? CT: [laughing] Well. in the old days. she power cleaned and jerked 60kg (135lbs) and power snatched 50kg (110lbs). they’re like any other athletes. At first I was brought in to teach them the Olympic lifts and eventually I began training them full time. I also read about NASCAR drivers hitting the weights. Now the best of them use resistance training. I’m not going to tell you what I’d like to do with some of them for sure! T: Mmm. CT: Three years ago a friend of mine named Martin Gervais came to me for help. the most important thing is to use proper form and a full range of motion. Once you get past the cute little dresses. That's a little shocking. they just golfed. only add weight if you can handle a full repetition! T: How about the leg press? We hear a lot of mixed opinions on it from various coaches. When performed well. do not underestimate these girls! They might look like little ice princesses but in the gym they mean business. In training she even did a set of five reps with 45kg (100lbs) on the power snatch after less than three months of training! It’s a lot of fun working with the skaters. I mean. Michelle Kwan wearing nothing but whipped cream…. Your thoughts? CT: I feel that every activity that requires some form of physical capacity can be improved with strength training. Soon we added two other elite skating clubs to our list. lifters. T: How did they do? CT: I’ll tell you. it’s not more dangerous than any other exercise. It’s just a matter of finding the proper exercises. T: It seems that every type of athlete is weight training these days. Oh sorry. At 14 years of age and a bodyweight of 128 pounds. go ahead. . and strongmen but you also train figure skaters. behind squats and lunges in a program. The only case in which I've used it was an athlete who had shoulder problem and couldn't even put the bar on his shoulders — the stretch was too much! While I worked on rehabbing his shoulders I had him train on the leg press and hack squat. I also believe the leg press can be a viable third leg exercise. I even had one skater compete in Olympic lifting where she won three bronze medals at the Quebec Games (equivalent of a tri-state championship).comes to the squat. CT: I rarely use the leg press in my athletes' training. golfers didn't lift weights.

In fact. or have we pretty much figured it all out already? Is there any training system out there now that you'd call the "next big thing" or is it just more novelty stuff designed to "sell"? CT: Mostly it’s designed to sell. but in the long run it might actually be detrimental. However. too much arousal and you might actually burn out by "over-psyching" yourself. T: Good tip! Do you think there's ever going to be a "next big thing" when it comes to weight training. So I’m not a big fan of the ephedrine and caffeine stack as I believe it can cause overpsyching. If it’s 5-10 BPM higher than normal. The most important thing is for the athlete to have an optimal level of arousal. Too little arousal and the intensity will suffer. In fact. I see lifters banging their heads and shouting before a hard lift.Funny you mention NASCAR drivers. No matter how good your training plan is. I do believe that Power Drive can help get you into that focused zone. a tough relationship. T: When discussing overtraining with the world's best coaches. I worked with a Panoz series pilot all summer long. The training included a lot of "weird" exercises but also some basic stuff like power cleans and other such movements. What do you think? CT: I take overtraining seriously. and that people pay way too much attention to it. Yet others think overtraining is overrated. my father once worked as a sports psychologist. I’ve sent some of my athletes home after only one exercise because I felt they were out of gas. . both intensity and volume must be decreased. T: What about the mental or psychological side of training? Got any interesting tricks or tidbits of info there we can apply to our workouts? CT: I must confess that both my parents where psychologists. You never know what could lead to overtraining: a stressful job. you might want to cut down the volume slightly. But in all honesty I don't feel that special psychological techniques need to be used. I find that taking the morning heart rate is a good indicator of the physical state of the athlete. That’s no good! It might help in the short term. I much prefer a focused and confident approach. I've noticed that some of them take it very seriously. We also did a lot of neck and abdominal work. you name it. you must always monitor how your athlete is feeling. It's their number-one priority to prevent it. And the sad thing is that today’s novel approaches are actually quite old! They just have been forgotten and rediscovered. If the morning heart rate is 3-5 BPM (beats per minute) higher than normal.

like vibration training for example. What's vibration training? CT: Vibration training has been developed by Carmelo Bosco. 11 and 12 while bodybuilders will get a lot from chapters 2. 5. 9 and 10. We have all the tools. T: Thanks for the chat. We look forward to seeing more articles from you in the future at T-Nation. CT: It’s been a pleasure. That’s not to say that you should not read the entire book. This intense vibration has been shown to improve power output. but I just don’t think we know exactly how to use them yet." In my opinion. but I wouldn't call that the "next big thing. jumping height. Now in regard to the book. Furthermore. 8. The training stimulus with vibration training is very intense because the stimulus changes so fast. This relatively new method consists of standing on a special platform than can vibrate at different rhythms and amplitudes. For those who'd like to learn more. 8. 5. you never know where you mind find the little trick that will switch your gains into high gear. Vibration training does seem to have an overall effect on the whole body. The problem is that we might very well have a "next big thing" and never realize it. Athletes will particularly like chapters 2. Christian.There are some things that show promise. but these will mostly be derivations of what we have right now. 6. I also believe we’ll see some novel methods. But I’ll keep my eyes open and keep you informed! T: Let's back up just a second. 6. 3.com. 7. It also affects growth hormone release and leads to a very intense CNS activation. 7. so many fads. Chris. I truly believe that this book achieve something special in that it conciliate training for an athlete and training for a good body. and strength. 4. visit Power-Plate. the next biggest breakthrough will come from a refining of the current training methods. This creates a great need for muscle activation. one could do stretching exercises while on the platform to greatly enhance the effect of the stretch. . Each type of athlete will find something useful in the book and can learn a lot from it. that it’s likely that the "next big thing" will be introduced much like those fads and we may miss the boat. there's so much bull out there. See. an Italian sport scientist better known for his work on power output and vertical-jump testing. 3.

About the Editor Tony Schwartz is a strength and conditioning coach based out of the Midwest-region of the United States. Tony Schwartz is available for private training in the Chicago. If you would like more information on Tony’s methodologies and programs please contact him at tony@hardcorepersonaltraining. nutrition. and supplementation systems that can be used by elite and amateur athletes alike. IL area. IN area. and supplementation programs online. He is currently working towards perfecting synergistic training. His methods and modalities for increasing strength and power have been described as both unorthodox and unusually effective. Tony specializes in program design for strength and power athletes.com . Tony Schwartz is also a research assistant in the field of biomechanics where his main focus is gait analysis. Tony also designs personalized training. In addition. nutrition. In addition to his work in the strength and conditioning field. as well as in the Bloomington.

The importance of maximal tension .Total Time Under Tension .CHAPTER 2 Keys to strength and size In this chapter … .The two key variables to increasing strength and size .The role of the nervous system in strength and power development .

a high intramuscular tension increases the rate of protein degradation and the subsequent amino acid uptake by the muscles. I’m probably as guilty as any other strength coach.“What makes a training program effective?” The two keys to hypertrophy and strength gains Over the past few years strength training enthusiasts and adepts of the “body beautiful” have been spoiled. This first factor (the importance of the tension present in the muscle) is the principal responsible factor for the quality of the gains stimulated. I’m not your average training authority. more than ever. it will allow you to design programs that will be just as effective as any out there! Of course. I’ve always felt that it is best to understand the “whys” rather than simply knowing the “hows.1: Intramuscular tension The intramuscular tension refers to the effort of the muscle necessary to produce a certain force output. there is a slew of effective training programs available to everyone wanting to better their body or their capacities. Now.” If you know why a certain training approach works well. the higher the intramuscular tension. having myself flooded the training community with more than a few training programs. Understanding tension acceleration mass Load to be lifted and accelerated Force needed to lift the load and to accelerate it Muscular tension necessary to produce the force . you can increase intramuscular tension by increasing the weight or the acceleration (or both). So it is with my professor that I’ll talk to you today while I reveal the two secrets to hypertrophy and strength gains. While having a cabinet filled with the latest and greatest strength training programs is a good thing. For starters I don’t have a bloated ego. We already know that force is equal to mass x acceleration. Key no. In simpler words. Furthermore. most training authorities won’t let you in on the secret “why” because they want to stay indispensable! But as you probably already know. it gives you a whole bunch of choices. and I feel that education is better than dictation. so it should also be evident that intramuscular tension will be influenced by the magnitude of the load and the acceleration one has to transfer to the resistance. the more functional the stimulated hypertrophy will be.

you should try to lift the bar with as much speed as possible during the concentric portion of the exercise. it has been shown that the best bench pressers in the world lower the bar to the chest at a slower pace than lesser benchers. the more intramuscular tension there will be. the less acceleration you allow. to lift a load faster you must produce more force.It’s important to comprehend that muscular tension is not the same thing as “the burn” or the feeling of the muscles tiring. Many peoples believe that a slow contraction puts a greater amount of tension on the muscles simply because they “feel” a burn or a tensed sensation. During an eccentric contraction you need a greater force output to bring the bar down slowly. mostly because . lowering the load in 3-5 seconds is best in most cases. Obviously there is a limit to this. this is not the case! In every concentric contraction (overcoming or lifting a load). This obviously means that ensuring proper tension during the eccentric portion of a lift (down slow) and lifting it as fast as possible (fast up) will lead to better gains. Intramuscular tension is increased if the acceleration is greater and the resistance preserved. Intramuscular tension is increased if both acceleration and load are increased The key to remember is that regardless of the load used. Why the difference? Well. who did not have bumper plates had much better physiques than today’s lifters. but less (letting the bar go down doesn’t require any force). But to lower it faster requires you not to exert more force. In fact. In an eccentric contraction (yielding or lowering a resistance) it’s the opposite. For the eccentric portion Intramuscular tension is increased when you lower the weight with less speed. Even in Olympic lifting exercises this is effective. Old time lifters. As a rule of the thumb. lifting a certain weight with more acceleration will always produce a greater degree of intramuscular tension. if you lower the bar too slow your muscles will tire faster and you will lose some force potential on the subsequent concentric portion. So what does that give us concretely? For the concentric portion Intramuscular tension is increased if the resistance is greater and acceleration is preserved. hence the increased tension.

A greater volume of work will stimulate more hypertrophy (as long as the stimulation doesn’t exceed the capacity to recover). so to maximize gains you must increase the Total Time Under Tension by adding more sets. the TUT for each set is low. even once bumper plates became available. You must note that I talked about “Total” TUT.they had to lower the bar under control. Alexeyev himself was known for always controlling the load on the way down. What I mean is that the cumulative TUT for all the sets of an exercise will be much more influential than the TUT per set.2: Total time under Tension The second factor (TUT) is the principal responsible factor for the quantity of stimulated hypertrophy. Intramuscular tension is increased if the resistance is greater and acceleration is preserved. . Intramuscular tension is increased if acceleration is decreased and the load is increased Key no. Intramuscular tension is increased if the acceleration is lower and the resistance preserved. More physical work leads to greater total protein degradation (while tension only influences the rate of degradation) and will lead to more structural adaptation provided that the athlete has enough time and nutrients to recover. This explains why you must do more sets when training with heavier weights and lower reps.

it will not give you much size or strength gains. Ideally you want to maximize tension by using either a heavy weight. it will not lead to much in the way of size or strength gains. you must do more sets to get a strong growth stimulus. 2. If the tension is too low during an exercise.So what does that tell us? 1. If the volume is too low. or lifting the load as fast as possible while lowering it slowly. even when performed at a high volume. If you select a load that you can do for 1-5 reps. even if the tension is very high. 4. . 3.

“For performance gains, the nervous system is the key”
Oftentimes the nervous system, not the muscular apparatus is the limiting factor in force production. Tsatsouline stated that “Your muscles already have the strength to lift a car, they just don’t know it yet” (Tsatsouline, 2000). I agree with that statement and feel that it’s a good image to help understand the potential improvement in force production by developing the nervous system. Let us use Tsatsouline’s example. Feats of strength by apparent weaklings are common. Just think of the frail middle-aged women who suddenly possess superhuman strength when her child gets trapped under an automobile or another heavy apparatus. There are many documented cases in which the woman was actually able to lift the car off the ground to free her child. A feat that she could not repeat in a million years under normal circumstances. Sure her strength was potentiated by adrenaline and other hormones, but the muscles that lifted the car were the same she already had, new muscles didn’t blossom out of nowhere to help her lift the car! The stress and extreme stimulation from the situation simply improved her capacity to produce force with the muscles she already had! Neurotransmission was improved, protective mechanisms were shutdown, sensory feedback was ignored … All of this made her able to work to her full potential, something that we don’t come remotely close to doing under regular circumstances. By now it should be clear to you that the limit in force production lies in the nervous system. The greater the proportion of his strength potential an athlete can use is, the better he’ll be. The difference between absolute strength (the full potential for strength production) and limit strength (the actual maximum strength that an individual can voluntarily produce) is termed the strength deficit. Absolute strength – Limit strength = Strength deficit

In chapter 3 I will present one way of estimating an athlete’s strength deficit using the squat and bench press.

“What makes me strong?”

Nervous system

Muscle fibers Golgi Tendon Organs Tendon

Receptors Muscles

These structures have the greatest influence on force production: a) Muscles: A bigger muscle is a potentially stronger muscle. The contractile capacities of the muscle fibers and the ratio of fast twitch/glycolitic fibers to slow twitch/oxidative fibers also has an influence. b) Muscle receptors: Some receptors will act as an inhibiting factor in force production. Notably the Golgi Tendon Organs, which act as a protective mechanism and lead to a partial shutdown of the muscles if the tension present is too high. Other receptors, such as the muscle spindles, will increase force production by provoking an elastic effect (myotatic reflex) when the muscle is stretched.

c) Nervous system : The efficacy of the nervous system influences force production by modulating motor unit (muscle fiber) activation, their synchronization, and the rate of contraction of the motor units. In simpler terms, the more efficient your CNS is, the more you can get out of the muscles you already have! d) Other factors: Motivation, environment, stress level, fatigue, nagging injuries, etc. This graphic shows us that if you are an athlete, train an athlete, or are interested in maximum strength development you must focus your efforts of several factors, not just the actual muscles. You will need to develop your muscles, the efficacy of your nervous system, the capacity to utilize the positive reflexes (stretch reflex), and the ability to inhibit the negative ones. If all you’re interested is muscle size, you can still benefit from a focus on all four of those factors because getting stronger will allow you to place a greater stimulus on your muscles and you will gain size at a much faster rate. Furthermore, there's something that I noticed from experience, I now call it "Priming hypertrophy facilitation." This means that after a bout of training focusing on power and strength, your body responds much faster to any subsequent hypertrophy training. I'll use myself as an example. For the past 4 years I concentrated mostly on the Olympic lifts, and even before that I would train for strength, not size. But during my last 2 years in Olympic lifting I would include 4-6 weeks of bodybuilding-type training once or twice per year. Oddly enough, I found that during those 4-6 weeks I could gain more muscle size than most guys doing bodybuilding training year-round would gain in 4-6 months! Recently, I switched my training to more of a bodybuilding approach and gained a lot of quality muscle naturally. I gained a lot of size while dieting, which is something in itself. I truly believe that without my foundation in Olympic lifting/strength training my gains would have been much slower. While there have been no studies on the subject, I speculate that the higher adaptive demand of power and strength training turns the body into a more adaptive machine, giving your body the capacity to adapt to training stress. So when you switch to a bodybuilding workout, which doesn't require as complex of an adaptation, the body is able to gain at a much faster rate. This doesn't mean that one should stop doing bodybuilding training, but rather that anybody wanting more size should include phases of strength and power training.

CHAPTER 3
Evaluation of needs

In this chapter …
- Simple ways of determining an athlete’s muscle fiber type - Evaluating the efficacy of the nervous system - Finding flexibility problems via muscle testing - Postural analysis

even I will give you a few program samples in this book!) when it comes to peak performance you must tailor a program to the client (or yourself) perfectly. To accomplish this you must know his weaknesses. but also reduce the risk of injury. and physiological makeup. never really questioning whether this is adequate for their objectives or not. While they can be good. strengths. Ready-to-wear training programs can be a big problem for some individuals. but a low amount of muscle mass. (hey. You improve in what you train for. Thus choose training methods that will give you the best results in your area of specialization. Think of your posture as the wheels of a car. some individuals have what are called “muscle imbalances. Goals An individual who wants to gain a lot of muscle will not train the same way as a sprinter! It’s important to know the ultimate goal(s) of your athlete (or yourself) and plan the training program accordingly. An athlete’s posture is also important to analyze. Another athlete may have a very efficient nervous system. while fast-twitch dominant athletes will progress more on a lower volume. Physiological makeup Knowing an individual’s ratio of muscle fibers can help you design a more effective training program.” Furthermore. This athlete will benefit from an increase in the “size of his motor. you must know the needs and capabilities of a client (or yourself). if one of your tires is slightly misaligned it will reduce the performance of your car . A lot of peoples are seduced by the latest training “fad” and will jump from one such fad to the other. goals. Individuals who are slow-twitch dominant will benefit more from higher volumes of training. For example. Strengths and weaknesses Knowing an athlete’s relative strengths and weaknesses will allow you to choose the training methods best suited to his needs. Knowing which muscles are too weak compared to their antagonist will allow you to choose exercises that will not only improve performance. an individual with a less than efficient nervous system will benefit from training means that will increase his neural drive. higher intensity and higher acceleration training program.” If the agonist and antagonist muscles of the same joint are way out of balance it can increase the risk of injury.“Know thy athletes” If you want to design a training program that will give the best possible results.

a good posture really creates a positive effect on how you look. While attaining the perfect posture is not always possible. and most objective way of determining muscle fiber dominance. If you drive only 10-20 miles per day chances are that it will not be much of a problem. Simple tests to get an idea of an athlete’s fiber makeup It is impossible to know the exact ratio of muscle fibers within a muscle unless you use the very painful and intrusive muscle biopsy. Sloppy posture can make you look like a doof even if your muscle mass is high and body fat is low. The same goes for an athlete. While it will not tell us that somebody has 65. It’s probably the easiest. Test no. it can give us a general perception of the makeup of the individual. more productive career. however if you drive 100-200 miles per day the problems will compound very quickly. The same misalignment in posture is compounded for an athlete because of the great demands he places on his body. that’s all we need to design optimal training programs.786% fast twitch fibers. However some tests can give us a good idea if an individual is slow-twitch dominant or fast-twitch dominant. For individuals only looking to have a beautiful body.1: The 80% reps test This is an oldie but a goodie. after a proper warm-up load the bar to 80% of your maximum and perform as many reps as you can in good form. The table below will help you interpret the results you got. And really. . reducing misalignment as much as possible will make for a longer.as well as lead to some overuse. The procedure is simple.

Not all muscles in the same individuals will have the same fiber dominance. glutes Hamstring Pectorals. biceps Calves This should give you a very good general idea of your muscle fiber dominance. so I suggest using the following test exercises: Exercise Full back squat Leg curl Dumbbell bench press Dumbbell shoulder press Barbell rowing Seated calf raise Muscle(s) tested Quadriceps.Number of reps with 80% 1-3 4-6 7-10 11-13 Muscle fiber dominance Fast twitch extremely dominant Fast twitch very dominant Fast twitch dominant Equal ratio 14-17 18-21 +21 Slow twitch dominant Slow twitch very dominant Slow twitch extremely dominant Most beneficial training Very low volume of work High acceleration exercises High load exercises Low volume of work High acceleration exercises High load exercises Low volume of work High load exercises High acceleration exercises Moderate volume of work High acceleration and slower tempo training Moderate load exercises High volume of work Long duration sets Slower eccentric tempo High volume of work Long duration sets Slower eccentric tempo Very high volume of work Long duration sets Slower eccentric tempo For best results using this test you should include exercises for all body parts with as little cross-over as possible. It’s not perfect. . triceps Upper back. triceps Shoulders. but it will give you a good idea on how to orient your training program.

What you look for is the degree of knee flexion on the dip before the vertical jump. The athlete will think that you are testing his vertical jump capacities while you are really testing his dipping depth. The shallower or the faster the dipping phase. However studies have found a very strong relationship between overall (or average for the whole body) fiber dominance and the results of this test. Use the table to get a good idea of the fiber makeup of the individual: Characteristics of the dipping phase Very long dip (past parallel) + Slow dip + Slow turnaround between dip and jumping Long dip (hips and knee in the same line) + Slow dip + Slow turnaround Moderate-to-long dip + Average speed dip + Relatively rapid turnaround Short dip (45 degrees knee flexion) + Fast dip + Rapid turnaround Very short dip (less than 45 degrees knee flexion) + Very fast dip + Very rapid turnaround Fiber dominance Slow-twitch very dominant Slow-twitch dominant Equal ratio Fast-twitch dominant Fast-twitch very dominant Obviously this later test is not perfect as it only tests the lower body. The actual result of the jump is without much consequence for this test. The deeper or the slower the dipping phase. the more fast-twitch dominant an athlete is. Have an athlete test on the vertical jump. 2: Vertical jump dips depth test This test is hard to administer on yourself because you know what is being tested and that can influence your results. the more slow-twitch dominant an athlete is. Tell him that he can dip as low as he wants. the goal is to jump as high as possible. . It certainly won’t hurt to add it to the 80% reps test to get an even better idea of the fiber dominance of an athlete.Test no. However it is a good subjective test to perform on others.

5 lbs / 4. lengthy body.5 to 3. This indicates that your nervous system does not have the capacity to recruit a lot of motor units. However we can estimate the efficacy of the nervous system indirectly by using the strength deficit.5 to 4.5 lbs / 2. The following table presents a possible way of evaluating one’s strength deficit.5 lbs / 5.5 to 4.5 to 6. low to moderate bodyfat. evaluate his build and body size.5 lbs/ lbs of BW lbs of BW lbs of BW lbs of BW Medium (5’7” – 6’) Endormorph Under 3 lbs / 3 to 4 lbs / lbs 4 to 5 lbs / lbs 5 to 6 lbs/ lbs lbs of BW of BW of BW of BW Mesomorph Under 3.5 to 5.5’7”) Endormorph Under 3. How can this clue us in on the efficacy of the nervous system? It’s fairly simple. then divide the total (bench + squat) by the athlete’s bodyweight and see where that places him.5 lbs/ lbs of BW lbs of BW lbs of BW lbs of BW Mesomorph Under 3 lbs / 3 to 4 lbs / lbs 4 to 5 lbs / lbs 5 to 6 lbs/ lbs lbs of BW of BW of BW of BW * Ectomorph = small bones. Evaluating the Strength Deficit with the Bench press and Squat Very Important Moderate Small important strength strength strength Strength deficit deficit deficit deficit Ectomorph Under 3 lbs / 3 to 4 lbs / lbs 4 to 5 lbs / lbs 5 to 6 lbs/ lbs lbs of BW of BW of BW of BW Short (.Nervous system effectiveness Testing for nervous system efficacy is much harder because it’s impossible for a coach to quantify the actual neural drive to the muscles. A small strength deficit means that you can utilize a great proportion of your muscles’ potential.5 lbs / 3. thus it is less efficient. lean. excess bodyfat.5 to 6. A large strength deficit means that you cannot use most of the potential of your muscles.5 lbs / 2. Find out the athlete’s 1RM in the squat and the bench press.5 to 3. thus your nervous system is efficient.5 to 5.5 lbs / 4.5 lbs / 3.5 lbs / 4.5 lbs / 4.5 lbs / 3.5 lbs/ lbs of BW lbs of BW lbs of BW lbs of BW Ectomorph Under 2 lbs / 2 to 3 lbs / lbs 3 to 4 lbs / lbs 4 to 5 lbs/ lbs lbs of BW of BW of BW of BW Tall (6’1” +) Endormorph Under 2.5 to 5.5 lbs / 3.5 to 5. moderate to heavy muscle mass (key word: fat) Mesomorph = Heavy muscle mass. low muscle mass (key word: bones) Endomorph = big bones.5 lbs / 5.5 to 4.5 lbs/ lbs of BW lbs of BW lbs of BW lbs of BW Mesomorph Under 4 lbs / 4 to 5 lbs / lbs 5 to 6 lbs / lbs 6 to 7 lbs/ lbs lbs of BW of BW of BW of BW Ectomorph Under 2.5 to 4. I already explained that the strength deficit is the difference between your muscles’ potential for force production and their actual maximal force output. big bones (key word: muscle) Height Body type* An individual with an important strength deficit will benefit most from training techniques emphasizing the improvement of the neuromuscular portion of force .

Postural analysis and range of motion testing Much of the information presented in this section comes from Dr.D. On the other hand. This is where muscle testing and postural analysis comes in. or no time at all. power. strength. while an individual with a small strength deficit will profit from an improvement in his muscle mass to some extent. A hypo-extensible (or hyper-tonic) muscle presents an increased risk of injury. greater load and/or greater acceleration). Recommending a generic stretching program can have some problems. this one is not perfect. To design an effective program all we need are clues. . training methods aimed at developing the neuromuscular factors should constitute the core of an athletic training program. but we’re not in a lab setting. especially if high velocity movements are involved. However. DC. and this test gives you a very solid clue in regards to nervous system efficacy. there is no middle ground. an athlete or bodybuilder cannot gain size. etc. unless his activity of choice demands it (e. Analyzing an athlete’s posture and the relative extensibility (flexibility) of his various muscle structures can greatly help you in your exercise selection. are neglected. This special emphasis will help reduce joint instability and thus the risk of injury. hyper-extensible (too much range of motion). One should never stretch a muscle that is already too flexible. When injured. Other variables outside of nervous system efficacy can come into play. What we want to do is stretch the muscles that are too tight (and thus have an excessive tension buildup) and strengthen the muscles that are too flexible. or adequate. who is a full professor of biomechanics in the Department of Exercise Science at Quebec University. Like all field tests. There is nothing more important to an athlete’s/bodybuilder’s sustained progress than being injury-free as much as possible. regardless of the strength deficit. So injury prevention should be a priority of every coach and athlete. a special emphasis should be placed on the muscles that are hyper-extensible.). Stretching for stretching’s sake can be counterproductive. By conducting a brief series of range of motion tests on the major muscle groups you can pin point which muscles are hypo-extensible (lack range of motion).. circus performer.g. and others. One of the current problems with stretching is that we seem to either devote way too much time to it. or skills. While strengthening exercises should be included for all the major muscle groups.production (lower volume. Martin Normand Ph. as well as a practicing chiropractor. not the least being that some muscles that should not be stretched will be stretched. which need an improved range of motion. gymnast. This will enable the coach to select the proper stretching exercises needed. hyper-extensibility (or hypo-tonicity) can also lead to an increased risk of injury because of joint laxity and instability.

To properly execute the test. Careful! You can have a false positive result in this test. Muscle testing Muscle testing refers to performing a battery of field tests to establish the range of motion of the major muscle groups. when the hip flexors (psoas and rectus femoris) are short and tight.The key to remember is that for maximal performance the range of motion of each muscle should be optimal. not excessive or insufficient. . Test: The subject is on his back and slowly pulls on the non-test leg (if you test for the right psoas you pull on the left leg) to bring it towards him and induce a flexion that will lead to a relative extension of the tested leg (Thomas test). The lower back must remain flat on the table at all times. To properly test the extensibility of a muscle you do a manual displacement of a segment from the flexed position to the extended position. I feel that a balance in extensibility is much more important than a balance of strength. the tested leg (on the table) is extended at the knee so that the rectus femoris (which is also a hip flexor and knee extensor) will be shortened and thus will have less effect on the results of the test. the hip extensors (glutes and hamstrings) are likely to be long and weak (at least in proportion to the hip flexors). Muscles often go in pairs. the risk of injury is greatly reduced. For example. chances are that its antagonist muscle is hypo-extensible/hyper-tonic. If the tested leg lifts off the table we have a hypo-extensibility. When a joint agonist is hyper-extensible. If both muscles in a pair are equivalent in terms of tension and extensibility. Iliopsoas Since this muscle is a hip flexor we will test its extensibility during a passive hip extension. the non-tested leg should only be lifted up to a point where a flat back can be maintained. At this point note the joint angle. To do so. To test for a hyperextensibility perform the same test but with the tested leg hanging off of the table’s end. I recommend the following testing procedure: 1. If the lower back leaves the table (if lordosis increases) it can give you a false hypo-extensibility result. Results: If the extensibility of the psoas is normal the tested leg will stay on the table when the subject brings the other leg towards him. stopping the movement when you feel a significant increase in muscle tension. you have hyper-extensibility. at least for injury prevention. However. A lot has been said about the ideal strength ratios between a pair of muscles. if it points down (lower than the table) when you bring the leg towards you.

except that only the upper portion of the tested leg is on the table. Rectus femoris The rectus femoris is a hip flexor and a knee extensor. So its extensibility is tested during hip extension and knee flexion. Results: If we have a normal extensibility of the rectus femoris. the lower portion hangs freely at the end of the table.Normal psoas extensibility Psoas hypo-extensibility (leg leaves the table) 2. If we have an hypo-extensibility the lower leg will rise somewhat (extension at the knee) and if we have an hyper-extensibility the hanging lower leg will be loose and you will be able to create an additional passive knee flexion without causing an increase in muscle tension. Normal rectus femoris extensibility Rectus femoris hypo-extensibility . Test: The test is a modified Thomas test. the angle between the lower and upper leg will be around 80 degrees. So it is the same procedure as the iliopsoas test. which will lead to an automatic passive knee flexion.

both legs on the table. the coach lifts the tested leg (doing a passive hip flexion). It is important that the lower back stays on the table at all times and that the hips also remain stable. So we test them by doing a passive hip flexion with the leg extended at the knee. Results: Normal extensibility is characterized by an angle of 80-90 degrees between the leg and table. While keeping the leg fully extended at the knee. Bi-articular portion of the hamstrings The biceps femoris (long head). and the semimembranosus are hip extensors and knee flexors.3. in any extensibility test the subject should never contract any muscle. Test: The subject is on his abdomen to place the hips in a neutral position. Over 100 degrees would be considered to be hyper-extensibility and under 70-80 degrees would be considered hypo-extensibility. Hypo-extensibility is spotted if the extension at the knees is incomplete. Results: An athlete with normal extensibility will have the legs fully extended at the knees without any problems. It is important that this be a passive action. Hyper-extensibility is spotted if there is hyperextension at the knees. diminishing the involvement of the bi-articular portion of the hamstrings. so its extensibility should be tested during a knee extension. the semitendinosus. Biceps femoris The biceps femoris (short head) is a knee flexor. Starting position of the biceps femoris test Normal biceps femoris extensibility Biceps femoris hypo-extensibility 4. . The starting position is fully flexed at the knees and the coach induces a slow knee extension. the lower back is flat on the table at all times. Test: The subject is lying on his back.

toes pointing straight up. the athlete is able to touch farther than his toes we have hyper-extensibility. The subject attempts to touch his toes with his fingers. Therefore. Test: Sitting position. the legs flex at the knees we have hypo-extensibility of the hamstrings. legs fully extended. e. c. Spinal erectors and hamstrings The erector spinae are trunk extensors. we must test them during trunk flexion. Results: If… a. the lower back doesn’t bend forward very far but the upper back is bending forward (giving a rounded back position) and the subject is not able to touch his toes we have hypo-extensibility of the lumbar erectors. the athlete is able to touch his toes we have normal extensibility. b.Normal bi-articular hamstring extensibility 5. Good overall extensibility Thoracic erector hypo-extensibility Lumbar erector hypo-extensibility . the lower back bends forward but the upper back remains flat (doesn’t bend forward) we have hypo-extensibility of the thoracic erectors. d.

Results: Normal extensibility of the external hip rotators is 45 degrees of movement. The tested leg is bent 90 degrees at the knee and is slightly pulled back (hip extension). The coach stands on the side of the tested leg and brings the foot of the tested leg towards him while keeping the upper leg perpendicular to the ground at all time. hip flexor.6. . Test: The subject is lying on his back. External hip rotators To test the group of muscles responsible for external hip rotation we must do a passive internal hip rotation. The tested leg is flexed 90 degrees at the hip and at the knee. The coach lifts the tested leg and lets it go down slowly. Results: If the extensibility is normal the knee of the tested leg will touch the table. Test: The subject is on his side (tested leg on top). If it doesn’t there is hypo-extensibility of the TFL. To test its extensibility we will do a passive hip adduction and external rotation. the other leg is fully extended and on the table. internal rotator. Less than 45 degrees is hypo-extensibility and more than 50-60 degrees is hyperextensibility. Starting position for the TFL test Borderline acceptable extensibility 7. and a knee extensor. TFL The tensor fasciae latae is a hip abductor. If there is hyper-extensibility of the TFL the leg will actually be able to go below the table.

Less than that is hypoextensibility and more than that (arm lower than the table) is hyper-extensibility. Internal shoulder rotators The group of muscles involved in internal shoulder rotation (subscapularis. anterior deltoid. The tested leg is flexed 90 degrees at the hip and at the knee. Test: The subject lies on his back. . The coach stands on the side of the tested leg and brings the foot of the tested leg inwards (doing a passive external hip rotation) while keeping the upper leg perpendicular to the ground at all times.8. Less than 45 degrees is hypo-extensibility and more than 50-60 degrees in hyper-extensibility. Test: The subject is lying on his back. pectoralis major. teres major. Results: Normal extensibility of the internal hip rotators is 45 degrees of movement. the tested upper arm is in line with the shoulders and the arm is bent 90 degrees at the elbow. This means that the coach should be able to bring the forearm to the table. latissimus dorsi) are tested by doing a passive external shoulder rotation. The proper execution of the internal hip rotators test 9. The coach slowly executes a passive external shoulder rotation (bringing the lower arm close to head-level). Result: Normal extensibility is characterized by a 90 degree range of motion. Internal hip rotators To test the group of muscles responsible for an internal hip rotation we must do a passive external hip rotation.

Result: A normal extensibility is characterized by a 90 degree range of motion. Meaning that the coach should be able to bring the forearm to the table. The coach slowly executes a passive internal shoulder rotation (bringing the lower arm close to torso-level). But you can design your own tests. Normal extensibility of the external rotators Those are the 10 basic tests I recommend. all you need to know is the movement in which a muscle is active. As you will notice the emphasis is placed on the lower body and the shoulders. . External shoulder rotators The group of muscles involved in an external shoulder rotation (infraspinatus. teres minor. Less than that is hypoextensibility and more than that (arm lower than the table) is hyper-extensibility. posterior deltoid) are tested by doing a passive internal shoulder rotation.Normal extensibility of the internal rotators 10. which are the most problematic areas. the tested upper arm is in line with the shoulders and the arm is bent 90 degrees at the elbow. Test: The subject lies on his back.

Performing these 10 tests will take you about 10-15 minutes once you are used to the procedure and the information you will get out of them will prove to be invaluable in the proper planning of training. A brief word on extensibility/flexibility A thorough explanation of proper stretching procedures would require a whole book in itself and it is outside the scope of this one. the following figure illustrates the various factors involved in having an optimal range of motion. But to diagnose pectoral tightness all you need to do is look at the athlete’s posture.Testing for pectoral extensibility is also a good idea because in most athletes it is hypoextensible. Extensibility of the skin Adhesions Nervous system Ligaments Muscle tissue extensibility . However. If his pectorals are tight his shoulders will be rounded forward instead of in-line with the hips.

ligaments that are too loose can also be problematic.The following structures can influence the actual range of motion: a) Muscle structures: A muscle with proper extensibility is generally associated with an optimal usable range of motion. and adhesions between the muscle and its fascia. d) Other factors: Elasticity of the skin. On the other hand. b) Ligaments and joint structures: The ligaments can limit the range of motion due to their role as joint stabilizers. This tells us that several stretching techniques should be used. adhesions between the muscle fibers. . But more advanced techniques such as PNF or ballistic stretching become necessary to solve range of motion problems due to neural factors. c) The nervous system: Sometimes there will be a lack in usable range of motion despite adequate extensibility of the muscles and ligaments. static stretching will be adequate. not allowing the muscles to work throughout their complete amplitude. In this case the nervous system can be the cause of the lack of range of motion. causing joint instability. If adhesions are the cause of the problem an ART treatment is the best solution. If the problem is structural.

29-35% female) Obese (24%+ male. Physical data a) Height: ____ Weight: ____ b) Muscle extensibility (check appropriate case): Iliopsoas Rectus femoris Mono-articular hamstrings (biceps femoris short head) Bi-articular hamstrings Spinal erectors TFL External hip rotators Internal hip rotators External shoulder rotators Internal shoulder rotators c) Strength deficit (check most appropriate): Very important: ___ Important: ___ Moderate: ___ Small: ___ 2. 16-21% female) Average (12-15% male. 9-11% female) Defined (6-8% male. 22-28% female) Overfat (19-23% male. Morphological/phenotypical data a) General body type (check most appropriate choice): Mesomorph (very lean and muscular) Meso-endo (muscular but not very lean) Meso-ecto (muscular but small joints and lengthy bones) Ectomorph (thin and elongated physique) Endomorph (thick and fat physique) b) Body fat percentage/degree of leanness (check appropriate case): Ripped (3-5%male. 12-15% female) Lean (9-11% male.Client evaluation 1. 22-25% female) Soft (16-18% male. Goal(s) Fat loss: ___ Muscle gain: ___ Sports performance: ___ General fitness/health/wellness: ___ Right Normal + Left Normal + Mixed ratio Slow-twitch dominant Slow-twitch very dominant . 35%+ female) c) Fiber type dominance (check most appropriate): Muscle groups Fast-twitch Fast-twitch very dominant dominant Pectorals Upper back Arm flexors Arm extensors Leg flexors Leg extensors Shoulders 3.

A presentation and description of high force training methods .Pros.How to plan the use of these methods in the training of an athlete .CHAPTER 4 Training methods In this chapter … . cons. and “when-to” for all methods described .

the following graphic classifies exercise methods according to their relative dependence on the acceleration and mass factors. he cannot overcome an adversary.Supra-max The accelerative effort is the main source of force production The effort to fight the resistance is the main source of force production . one cannot dismiss the importance of the neuromuscular factors involved in force production. the more additional force you’ll need to produce. it is capital to develop the capacity to create muscular tension and to produce force if one is going to be a successful athlete. he cannot accelerate.“The importance of force” Force production is the basis for most sport actions. or accelerate it.Controlled ---. Without force production one cannot move his body in space.Maximal ---. 1975). The F = ma formula is capital to proper planning of training. the more you want to impart acceleration to the resistance. The methods farther on the left are acceleration dominant and become more mass dominant as we go to the right of the figure. which allows one to fight inertia.” In other words. Now. basically he cannot do anything involving movement. move a mass. As a result. you need to apply a certain level of force to fight the inertia of a resistance (this is generally equal to a bit more than the weight to be lifted). “The total amount of force produced by a muscle or a group of muscles is equal to the summation of the force required to move the mass and the force required to accelerate it. That’s why additional loading is not always necessary or adequate to increase force. Strength is the capacity to produce force during a muscular contraction (Bouchard et al. Ballistic ---. Here’s how you should understand it. We must distinguish between force and maximum strength since both concepts are often mistakenly mixed with one another. Then. While it’s true that a muscle has a potential for force production proportional to its cross-section (ultimately to it’s size). The capacity to produce force is often associated with big muscles.Strength-speed ---. Without force production there is no movement.Speed-strength ---. Force itself is the result of the tension produced by the muscle.

Mass is low. F=M*A Mass is very dominant. High speed strength exercises Most transferable capacity in regard to sport performance. Increase muscle mass. Develop the capacity to exert as much force as possible in as little time as possible. which is a foundation for speed).The following table expands on the many possible training methods presented in the preceding graph. F=M*A Acceleration is dominant. - - - . F=M*A Acceleration and mass are contributing equally. Develop the transferable capacity to exert maximal strength against a very heavy object/opponent. Increase tendon strength. including power. Acceleration is very low-to-nil. Mass is low. Serves as a "second" foundation to speed (low speed strength is a foundation for high speed strength.70%) Lifting exercises with a heavy load (85%+) Eccentric training Isometric training Eccentric training with loads over the concentric max (105-140%) Cheated lifting Heavy partial reps F=M*A Acceleration is very dominant. Acceleration is low. - Low speed strength exercises Serves as the foundation for the development of many other physical qualities. which is key in most sports. Acceleration is very low-to-nil. Basic Force Training Methods Ballistic Method SpeedStrength Method Lifting movements with a minimal load Loaded sports movements StrengthSpeed Method Controlled Repetition Method Lifting exercises with moderate to near maximal loads (50 . F=M*A Mass is dominant. F=M*A Mass is very dominant.85%) Loaded sports movements performed at a controlled pace Maximal Method Supra-Maximal Method Jump training Plyometrics Throws Weighted jumps Absorption drills Olympic lifts Lifting exercises against moderate loads (30 .

. 2. But that doesn’t mean that they should all be used at the same time by all athletes. you can improve by imparting more acceleration to the load.Understanding the effect of the F = ma equation is very important for several reasons: 1. It enables the coach to avoid selecting redundant exercises (several exercises developing the same physical capacities). You do not need to constantly increase the load to increase your capacity to produce force. 3. It makes progression safer. 4. It allows one to vary the training methods used to maximize the capacity to produce force. so it is a mistake to try to invent the “world’s best program” by adding a bit of everything that works. Remember that athletes have a limited capacity to sustain and adapt to training stress. It gives you a better understanding of what each exercise can contribute to your athlete’s preparation. Each of these 6 methods and their derivatives have their place in sports training.

Ballistic method Ballistic refers to an actual projection of the source of resistance. weighted jumps. medicine ball) or from the athlete’s bodyweight. produces good results very fast. but they are very stressful on the nervous system and the tendons. While low intensity ballistic exercises (bounding drills. Cons: The high intensity exercises are very demanding on the nervous system. When to use the method: The low intensity exercises can be used as a warm-up before most workouts although the coach should stay away from excessive volume (5-10 minutes will do. for cycles of 4-6 weeks at a time. loaded absorption drills) should only be used infrequently (once or twice a week) for a limited period of time (4-6 weeks). The lower intensity drills are a great way to start a workout effectively. the frequency should be kept to 1-2 times per week with a relatively low volume of work (more throws and weighted jumps doesn’t bring more results than less work … the main effect is on the nervous system which doesn’t require a lot of volume to be stimulated). unless the athlete has a long history with them. meaning that the improvements in the capacity to produce power are best seen 2-3 weeks after the last stimulation. heavy medicine ball throws. By including various types of throws you can prepare all your muscles for . mostly as a good specific warm-up tool). These exercises have a great impact on the nervous system because of the high accelerative demands. The latter exercises (high intensity) do carry a great potential for power improvement. basic jump training. light medicine ball throws. Medicine ball throws are low-intensity ballistic exercises that are well suited as a specific warm-up tool for hockey players. These exercises are the ones in which the acceleration factor is the most important in relation to total force production. DO NOT start using these high intensity exercises close to a game. The higher intensity exercises should be used intermittently during the year.g. high impact plyos). often a higher risk of injury than with other methods. exercises are stimulating to perform. The source of resistance itself can either be from an outside source (e. It is also important to understand that the training effect of the high intensity ballistic exercises is delayed.) are not very stressful (and thus can be used quite often. but stop producing early). the habituation rate is high (the exercises produce results fast. high intensity ballistic exercises (depth jumps. more than that is excessive). etc. The intensity of these exercises vary from very low (simple bounding drills) to very high (loaded absorption drills. Pros: Great way to develop power in specific muscles/movements.

Simmons uses the dynamic effort method with the bench and the squat because these are the lifts being contested in his sport (powerlifting). . Recently. should be limited to early in the preparatory period and should be used for a 4 week cycle at the most.Speed-Strength method This method is very similar to the ballistic method. Strength-Speed method The strength-speed method includes exercises in which the force output is a result of both a high acceleration and a moderate/heavy mass to be moved. This form of training was once very popular with athletes. To be effective. Another form of this method is explosive lifting with minimal loading (10-20% of 1RM). He uses a low number of reps to maximize acceleration during each rep. The relative importance of the accelerative effort is almost as great as with the ballistic method. It can also help technical correction via enhanced feedback (you can feel the movement better when there is a bit more resistance and thus can spot your weaknesses). This method. if used at all. I would like to point out two things at this point: 1. an athlete could use other exercises. firing shots with an overweight stick. skating/running while pulling a light sled or using a sport parachute. The best example of this form of training is loaded sports movements. etc. but it has become less utilized in recent years. once or twice per week (preferably once). For example skating with a weighted sole in the skate (very. Pros: Loaded sports movements can strengthen the muscles in a very specific manner. the athlete must accelerate the load as much as possible. Simmons recommends using the dynamic effort method by using 55-60% of your max in lifts such as the bench press and the squat while lifting the weight as fast as possible. If used correctly it can be a good way to strengthen specific movement patterns and the muscles involved in the movement. The best known example of this form of training is the Olympic lifts and their variations. When to use the method: The use of loaded sports movements should be limited to very experienced coaches who can spot the slightest technical discrepancy and to very advanced athletes who have a stable and solid technical mastery. very light insoles). except that there is not necessarily a projection of the source of resistance. The main drawback of this form of training is that it can impair coordination in the sports movement if the load leads to a change (even minimal) in the technique. another way to use this method has been popularized by powerlifting coach Louie Simmons. Cons: Very easy to abuse and even the slightest mistake in loading can lead to a negative effect on sport performance. This is generally best used during the warm-up of a strength session.

Hatfield recommends as high as 70-80% for explosive strength. The benefits are not limited to the structures worked because there is a general effect of potentiation of the nervous system. . this form of training can be used quite often due to the small effect it has on the musculoskeletal system (low protein degradation due to the low time under tension). the high acceleration.” This form of training is highly stimulating for the nervous system because of the high rate of force development. When used at a low volume. Increase the load as long as a high acceleration and technical efficiency can be maintained. “You should spend at least 30% of your strength & power training volume with exercises included in this method. and the coordination required. Pros: This is the training method that generally has the greatest total force production and the greatest power output. training volume should be minimized and the emphasis should be on acceleration and quality of execution. especially if the coach is inexperienced in the teaching of those exercises. I must emphasize that with strength-speed exercises you do not really use a percentage set in stone. making the whole body more effective. It is easy to do too much volume in one session and thus overload the nervous system. As such. Other lifting experts who recommend explosive lifting have recommended a load different than Simmons. As a result it is one of the best ways to improve sports performance through training. Cons: Some of these lifts require a greater technical mastery and may take some time to learn. You judge the load according to the speed of execution. Furthermore. The more complex exercises carry a greater risk of injury. a higher training frequency on these lifts greatly improves coordination.2.

As you advance in the year. . and once the athlete is pretty efficient. reduce the volume (1-2 olympic lift exercise(s) per workout. 10-20 total reps per exercise) and the frequency (1-2 times per week). ‘Normal’ strength exercises like the squat or bench press can also become strength-speed exercises if the load is decreased to allow maximum acceleration of the bar. more frequency (2-4 times per week). It should be introduced early in the preparation period and continued throughout the year. and very low intensity (6070% on the Olympic lifts). but increase the intensity (80-90% on the Olympic lifts). Early in the year emphasize learning the technique of the Olympic lifts by using more volume (2-3 Olympic lifting exercises per workout. 20-30 total reps per exercise). This work should be submaximal.The Olympic lift variations are the best examples of strength-speed exercises because you need to accelerate a relatively heavy load to complete the lift. Remember that it is crucial that the athlete be proficient in Olympic lifting technique before you increase the intensity. When to use the method: Strength-speed exercises should constitute the core of your special training program.

The best examples of the controlled pace sport movements are heavy sled-dragging and performing sports movements wearing a weighted vest. Still. but it does lead to added body weight (thus you have to carry more weight without having more strength). 1996). This leads to hypertrophy in the specific muscles involved in the action and specific conditioning (improvement in the energy system efficiency). As stated earlier. However. controlled training may have a place in an athlete’s training. especially the blood vessels and capillaries in the muscles. all training methods lead to functional and non-functional hypertrophy. To be fair. remember that increased muscle mass can be detrimental to performance for two reasons: 1. In that regard. So ultimately it is understandable why it is not desirable. Resistance training using a bodybuilding approach (higher volume. Non-functional hypertrophy (sarcoplasmic hypertrophy) doesn’t lead to an improvement in the capacity to produce force. rotator cuffs. abdominals). A muscle after functional and non-functional hypertrophy Original fiber Following functional H Following non-functional H Non-functional hypertrophy is an increase in the non-contractile elements of a muscle fiber and it has been shown to occur predominently with bodybuilding-type training (Zatsiorsky. which can reduce the risk of injuries. lower speed of action. This makes the disposal of intramuscular waste byproducts and recovery from training difficult. it can help strengthen the tendons.Controlled repetition method This form of training includes classic hypertrophy (i. which leads to decreased oxygen and nutrient transport to the muscle. bodybuilding training doesn’t only stimulate non-functional hypertrophy.e. Excessive muscle hypertrophy constricts the vascular system. . bodybuilding) training and sport movements performed at a controlled pace (often times with loading). but to various extents and in different proportions. but only as an assistance method to the core of the training. lower back. 2. I believe that it should be used to strenghen muscles which are subject to injuries (shoulders. more isolation exercises) doesn’t directly improve the athlete’s performance. Non-functional hypertrophy is equivalent to increasing the weight of a car but not the strength of it’s engine (or adding wagons to a train).

bench press. Heavy lifting: Using a load of 85-100% in classic strength lifts (squat. and form will follow. 1. but even during that time of increased bodybuilding-type training nervous system training should remain the focus.) 2. The descent should be under control (2-4 sec. Heavy lifting (85-100%) High intensity lifting is the best way to increase muscle strength. Not much stress on the nervous system so it is not likely to overload it.Pros: Can increase tendon strength. front squat. 3. It also has a very important neural component. This is usually done for reps (3-6). hamstring. Generally done for a few sets (2-5) of a few seconds (6-12) generating as much force as possible against the immovable resistance. push press. shoulders). I believe that one can put more emphasis on gaining muscle mass early in the year. Can lead to added muscle mass. especially when the athlete is in good shape and feels “psyched” to beat his record. That’s why heavy lifting is a great tool for the athlete. the greater the relative importance of the nervous system.e. incline press. It is easy to do too much work. The closer to your maximum you go. they do have very different impacts on the body.). A partner or two are required to perform this method (they must lift the weight to get it back to the starting position for you). It’s safe to do. When combined with strength-speed exercises it creates the best stimulus for strength and power gains. since heavy lifting is very demanding on the nervous system (and the tendons). However one can add several exercises to increase hypertrophy in relatively weak and/or fragile muscles (i. . deadlift. barbell row. Cons: Most of the hypertrophy gains are non-functional and may lead to lowered performance. volume and frequency must be planned carefully. When to use the method: I believe that for elite performance an individual should be training for function. However. While all three of these methods are in the same category. Maximal method This training method includes all exercises in which you must produce a lot of muscular tension (close to your limit strength). Requires a lot of physiological energy for very little results. Isometric training: Exerting strength against an immovable resistance. Eccentric training: Lowering a load close to your 1RM (90-100%) in an exercise. etc.

but at varying degrees. As such. Heavy lifting refers to straining to lift a weight. One should always use multi-joint exercises with this training method. Pros: Best way to gain limit strength. Early in the preparatory period the importance of heavy lifting is relatively high and increases up to the middle of the competitive preparation period. Can be hard on the tendons. always trying to lift limit weights is erroneous. Easy to overstress the nervous system if overdone. When you try to beat your record in a certain lift you are not developing strength. Furthermore. Has an important neural factor which irradiates through the whole body. you are learning to demonstrate your strength in that particular lift. After that point it is drastically decreased to a maintenance level to allow .Understand that it is not necessary (or even desirable) to constantly lift limit weights in training to maximally stimulate strength gains. Increases muscle strength and size via functional hypertrophy. they do not linearly improve over the course of the training season. Also do not make the mistake of planning heavy weight lifting out of context. fatigue. Thus increases and decreases in gym performance are not a good way to gauge the true progress of an athlete’s strength. the capacity to lift bigger weights in training doesn’t necessarily mean that the muscles are getting stronger and more effective. etc. Cons: When used out of context it can set the athlete back a few days. Don’t forget that strength levels fluctuate. Remember that gym performance has a lot to do with the level of arousal. Plan in consequence. One must attempt lifts with near-maximal resistance to develop limit strength. The capacity to produce force will be greatly diminished if the volume of work in other training methods is high. When to use the method: This method should be used throughout the year. motivation.

one to be in top form at the competitions. Even during periods of high volumes of heavy lifting I prefer to use a minimalist approach (2-3 exercises per workout, 1530 total reps per exercise, 2-4 times per week). Only multi-joint exercises (squat, bench press, deadlift, etc.) should be used with this method. Note that if you plan to do a workout using loads of 90-95% of your 1RM before a game or test, you must plan a taper of 9-12 days between that session and the game/test. If you plan to go as high as 100% (or test a new max) you’ll need a taper of 12-18 days. Another important matter is that the stronger an athlete is, the less lifts with 95100% weights are required, these athletes will benefit more from an increased volume of lifts at around 85-90% of their max. The following table (modified from the work of R.A. Roman and A.S. Prilepin) illustrates how you should plan a certain heavy lifting session. 1. Select the appropriate intensity level according to your athlete’s capacities at the moment (how much CNS stress can he tolerate?) 2. Once the intensity is decided, decide on the volume in total reps that your athlete can sustain. This depends on how much volume he already had during the week. 3. Decide how you are going to split the total reps (e.g. are you going to do 3 x 6, or 3 x 5 + 3 x 1 …). Intensity level, CNS importance, and optimal volume in heavy lifting exercises Percentage Intensity / Reps per set Optimal total Acceptable CNS reps volume range importance 60-69.9% Small 4-8 20 18-26 70-79.9% Medium 3-6 18 12-24 80-89.9% Large 2-4 15 10-20 90-97.5% Near maximal 1-2 5-10 2-12 98-100% Maximal 1 2-4 1-6 +100% Overload 1 1-2 1-4 Eccentric training (90-100%) It is possible to produce a greater amount of strength under eccentric (yielding, negative, lowering) conditions. While the difference between concentric (overcoming, positive, lifting) and eccentric limit strength varies between athletes, it is generally found to be +20-40% in favor of the eccentric portion. This is evidenced by the fact that you can lower a much heavier load than you can lift. As such it is possible to place a very large stimulus on the muscles by lowering a nearmaximal or maximal load under control for several reps. The effects of this method are very pronounced. It can lead to a very important improvement in tendon strength, in the muscle limit strength capacity, and in the nervous system’s capacity to activate the

muscles. However, this method carries a huge burden on the nervous system and the tendons.

With the eccentric training method you lower a near-maximal or maximal load under control and you lift the weight with the assistance of a spotter.

Pros: Can give you important gains in muscle and tendon strength when used properly. Improves the neural drive. Cons: One of the most stressful training methods, both on the nervous system and the musculoskeletal system. If used in excess it can overload the CNS, injure tendons, and lead to overtraining. Leads to severe muscle soreness and stiffness after training. When to use the method: Near-maximal to maximal eccentric training should be used seldomly and generally in the middle portion of the preparatory period, if it’s used at all. Only advanced athletes should use this method and when they do they should do so for very short cycles (2-4 weeks) with at least 2 weeks between cycles. The volume should be kept very low (around 6 total reps per workout once a week). Isometric training This method was once very popular in the 60s and 70s, but has been disregarded since. It consists of exerting strength against an immovable resistance. The logic is that isometric strength is slightly higher than concentric strength. This method does lead to strength gains, but only at the specific joint angle being worked. It is possible to gain strength in the whole range of movement by doing isometric holds at every 15o, but those gains are not readily transferable to dynamic movements.

Pros: Can lead to strength gains at a specific joint angle. Cons: Not transferable to dynamic movements. Can increase blood pressure. Hard to quantify progress and thus to plan volume. Hard to vary intensity. When to use the method: Isometric training can be used to strengthen a specific weak point in an exercise (sticking point) and during the rehabilitation process. Generally a few sets of 6-12 seconds are used.

Supramaximal method
These methods are to be delt with prudence. They carry a greater risk of injuries and can easily lead to neural overloading. They consist of using exercises in which you lift greater weights than you are capable of. You do so by either: 1. Doing very heavy eccentric training (120-140%) 2. Cheating to get past the sticking point 3. Doing only partial reps (e.g. quarter squats) These exercises place a huge stimulus on the nervous system (thus, they can produce great results or put you into immediate stagnation … it’s a very fine line in this case) and on the tendons (moderation will strenghen them, excess will injure them). This method can lead to great strength gains. However, much like with isometrics, the gains are not always directly transferable. Pros: Can yield important strength gains. Can help you bust through a strength plateau. Makes you “used to” handling heavy loads. Cons: It’s the easiest method to abuse. Gains are not always transferable. Important soreness. When to use the method: Very, very rarely! As a part of a shock microcycle it can be good. I would not recommend using any of these methods for more than 2 weeks straight. When used the volume should be minimal. Conclusions in regard to the various training methods There are many training methods available, but they should not be used by all athletes during the whole season. Before falling victim to the claims of a training method, make sure that you understand the pros and cons of each (they all have pros and cons). Here’s a chart that will help you put everything into context.

Early preparatory Beginning athlete (13-15 years old athlete) Intermediate athlete (16-17 years old athlete) Advanced athlete (18-20 years old athlete) Elite athlete (Pro)
Low int. Ballistic + Strength-speed ++++ Controlled + Low int. ballistic + Strength-speed ++++ Controlled + Maximal ++ Low int. Ballistic + Speed-strength + Strength-speed ++++ Maximal ++ Low int. Ballistic + Speed-strength + Strength-speed ++++ Maximal ++

Late preparatory
Low int. Ballistic + Strength-speed ++++ Controlled + Maximal ++ Low int. ballistic + Strength-speed ++++ Maximal ++ Low int. Ballistic + High Int. Ballistic + Strength-speed ++++ Maximal ++ Surpramax + Low int. Ballistic + High Int. Ballistic + Strength-speed ++++ Maximal ++ Surpramax +

Competitive
Low int. Ballistic + Strength-speed +++ Maximal ++ Low int. Ballistic + High Int. Ballistic + Strength-speed +++ Maximal + Low int. Ballistic + High Int. Ballistic + Strength-speed +++ Maximal+ Low int. Ballistic + High Int. Ballistic + Strength-speed +++ Maximal+

In Season
Low int. ballistic + Strength-speed ++ Maximal + Low int. ballistic + Strength-speed ++ Maximal + Low int. ballistic + Strength-speed ++ Maximal + Low int. ballistic + Strength-speed + Maximal +

This table illustrates when each training method can be used in the year (not when it must be used). For the sake of comprehension: ++++ = Very strong emphasis +++ = Strong emphasis ++ = Significant emphasis + = Moderate emphasis / introduction / maintenance The division in periods is as follows: 1. Early preparatory: From the end of the season to 1/3 of the way through the off-season. 2. Late preparatory : From 1/3 of the way through the off-season to 2/3 of the way through the off-season. 3. Competitive: From 2/3 of the way through the off-season to the start of the competitive season. 4. In-season : The season itself

The proper rep and set relationships for strength gains .CHAPTER 5 Planning volume In this chapter … .The proper rep and set relationships for muscle size .The proper rep and set relationships for power gains .

However. and needs it can vary greatly. depending on your fiber dominance. Someone who is fast-twitch dominant will benefit from lower volumes of training and will probably overtrain with a high volume approach (people are sometimes amazed that some of my athletes will train for only 30 minutes yet are stronger. slow-twitch dominant individuals will need a higher volume of work to gain size and they have a lower risk of overtraining as their work capacity is generally higher. Depending on the individual’s fiber makeup. The following graphs will give you a good starting point when planning the number of reps and sets. the adequate volume of strength work will vary greatly. his experience. the sets should be higher and vice-versa. the amount of reps and the amount of sets are inversely proportional. more powerful. This means that if the reps are low. On the other hand. one law holds true.There is no perfect rep and set scheme. Reps/Sets relationships for hypertrophy gains per exercise for a mixed fiber type 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Reps Sets 5 4 3 2 + 80% of maximum Intensity (load) 60% of maximum Reps/Sets relationships for hypertrophy gains per exercise for a fast-twitch dominant 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Reps Sets 5 4 3 2 + 80% of maximum Intensity (load) 60% of maximum Reps/Sets relationships for hypertrophy gains per exercise for a slow-twitch dominant 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Reps Sets 5 4 3 2 + 80% of maximum Intensity (load) 60% of maximum . and have a better physique than 99% of people). One must keep in mind that.

Reps/Sets relationships for strength gains per exercise for a mixed fiber type 2 3 4 5 6 7 Reps Sets 6 5 4 3 ++ 95% of maximum Intensity (load) + 80% of maximum Reps/Sets relationships for strength gains per exercise for a fast-twitch dominant 1 3 4 5 6 7 Reps Sets 5 4 3 2 ++ 100% of maximum Intensity (load) + 80% of maximum Reps/Sets relationships for strength gains per exercise for a slow-twitch dominant 4 5 6 7 8 Reps Sets 5 4 3 2 ++ 95% of maximum Intensity (load) + 80% of maximum Reps/Sets relationships for power gains per exercise for a mixed fiber type 4 5 6 7 8 9 Reps Sets 6 5 4 3 -60% of maximum Intensity (load) 15% of maximum .

The training split will be covered in more detail in the next chapter. I prefer the upper body/lower body split for athletes. is also affected by the number of exercises per training session. or the total workload. . Athletes and bodybuilders follow different rules: athletes need to train energy systems and movements. For bodybuilders. while bodybuilders need to train muscles. Athletes need to divide their sessions into broader classes. devoting one or two training days per week to each muscle group. most of the exercises should be multi-joint movements. In this case. decrease the number of reps per set. Bodybuilders should divide their training program into muscle groups. the less he will benefit from the rep and set schemes on the right side of each graph and the bigger the effect of the methods on the left side will be. and increase the number of sets per exercise. 2-4 multi-joint exercises are used per workout and you can add 1 or 2 isolation exercises at the end of each session. This is why as you gain experience you should increase your average training intensity.Reps/Sets relationships for power gains per exercise for a fast-twitch dominant 2 3 4 5 6 7 Reps Sets 6 5 4 3 -60% of maximum Intensity (load) 15% of maximum Reps/Sets relationships for power gains per exercise for a slow-twitch dominant 6 7 8 9 10 11 Reps Sets 6 5 4 3 -60% of maximum Intensity (load) 15% of maximum One important thing to understand is that the more experienced a trainee is. Number of exercises Training volume. This means that the training split used by both types of trainees as well as the number (and type) of exercises to use will be very different. each muscle group should be worked with 3-5 exercises.

Blocks of training: periodization for dummies .CHAPTER 6 Blocks of training In this chapter … .Block training for bodybuilders .Block training for athletes .

This will allow the coach to adjust the program according to how the athlete responds. not so good if you are trying to actually teach people how to train! I personally like to make things simple. You change exercises with the start of each new block. A training block should not be shorter than two weeks (or two microcycles of 5-10 days). positive adaptations. Great if you are lecturing to a room full of Ph. there’s this stigma of complexity that surrounds periodization. this form of periodization. but when you do so you only plan the individual training sessions one block at a time. or 1 block. each with a specific training goal or goals. You have four different loading schemes possible in block training: . What are training blocks? Instead of a linear progression I prefer to use blocks of training. has been seen as old news by its own creators for over 30 years! Yet many western “experts” still follow the dogma blindly. I believe that taking a complex matter and making it easy to understand is a sign of intelligence. A block of training is simply a certain period of training that uses the same exercises. it’s likely that you’ll end up with a room full of confused faces and blank stares. For some odd reason. You may establish the goals of 4-6 blocks in advance. Well.Ds in exercise physiology. much more so than taking a simple concept and making it sound like rocket science. People seem to think that the only form of periodization is linear. Most of the time they will do so because they want to showcase just how much they know. Generally a training block will either be 4 weeks in length or 8 weeks for a "double block". Each training block is its own functional unit. Many western authors are to blame because they make it look much harder than it actually is. And nowhere is it stated that there is only one way to periodize a training program. Periodization of training is something simple. linear periodization.“Training blocks: Periodization for Dummies” When the words “periodization of training” are spoken. at a time. The heart of periodization is simple: make training an objective process” Nowhere is it stated that periodization must use a lot of complex graphs and statistical analysis. chronic. A period shorter than that cannot lead to significant. During a block the loading schemes change every week. and how much research they did. However the exercises stay the same for the whole block. really! According to Freeman: “Periodization is simply dividing an athlete's training program into a number of periods of time. meaning that you plan each training block individually. going from a period of low intensity/high volume to a period of high intensity/low volume. but the specific training to be used is planned 4 weeks. the same training means. Several blocks can be planned in advance. and that has similar training objectives.

2. Once again. After the test day you have two days of complete rest. the shock loading portion is based on using a lot of intensity. The fact that more sets are used will lead to more structural adaptations. 3 x 4 (85-90% of max) Week 3: 3/2/1/3/2/1 (90% / 95% / 100% / 92% / 97% / 102%) Week 4: 3 x 3(85-90% of max) for the first 4 days. test on the 5th day . The fact that more intensity is used will lead to more functional adaptations. The volume is lowered somewhat. Unloading/Test: This is planned at the end of a training block and is used to test how much the athlete progressed and help decide on the upcoming block. Shock loading: If the base loading week is based on a lot of volume. as much as the athlete/bodybuilder can tolerate. The first 4 days of the week use a very low volume. The intensity is 5 to 10% inferior to the shock week. 3. Base loading: In this portion of the block the volume of training is maximal. 4. but you change exercises each time you change blocks. Introductory loading: This is where you introduce the athlete to the training methods and exercises that will be used in the whole training block. The most effective training block is as follows: Week 1: Introduction loading Week 2: Base week Week 3: Shock week Week 4: Unloading and test Here are a few blocks that I like to use: Athletic/Strength block for a very efficient nervous system Week 1: 3 x 5 (80-85% of max) Week 2: 3 x 5 (80-85% of max).1. understand that the exercises used stay the same during the whole duration of the block. The objective is to perform a very large amount of work. Block structure The most basic and easiest block to use is the four-week block. On this day you will test your maximum on 3-4 different exercises (if you compete you test your competitive movements). The volume and intensity is low because all we want is to establish the current level of the athlete and to get him used to the exercises being used. But the loads used are higher. no more than 50-60% of the volume of the base week. but maximal for the test day. to around 70-80% of that of the base week. With a four-week block you devote one week to each type of loading. The test is planned for the 5th day of the week. This is the best way to develop optimum results with most athletes.

3 x 8 Week 3: 8/6/4/8/6/4 Week 4: 2 x 8. Depending on the type of client I will use one of the following schedules: Athlete Day 1: Lower body Day 2: Upper body Day 3: Off Day 4: Lower body Day 5: Upper body Day 6: Off Day 7: Off . that’s because when planning a bodybuilding training I recommend using a load close to your best (for the plan number of reps) at all sets.Athletic/Strength block for a lesser nervous system Week 1: 3 x 8 (77-82% of max) Week 2: 3 x 8 (77-82% of max). 2 x 5 Bodybuilding block for slow-twitch dominant/hard gainers Week 1: 3 x 15 Week 2: 3 x 12. 2 x 6 You’ll notice that I did not give percentages for the bodybuilding blocks. For bodybuilding purposes the same approach can be used and it becomes: Bodybuilding block for fast-twitch dominant/easy gainers Week 1: 3 x 8 Week 2: 3 x 8. 3 x 10 Week 3: 10/7/5/10/7/5 Week 4: 2 x 10. test on the 5th day Those are the two basic cycles I use with most of my athletes in the off-season and it has been shown to bring great strength and power gains. The workouts With blocks of training I like to use 4 sessions per week. However. 3 x 6 Week 3: 7/5/3/7/5/3 Week 4: 2 x 6. this is for athletes and strength development. 3 x 4 (85-90% of max) Week 3: 5/3/2/5/3/2 (85% / 90% / 95% / 87% / 92% / 97%) Week 4: 3 x 6(80-85% of max) for the first 4 days. 2 x 3 Bodybuilding block for mixed fibers/average gainers Week 1: 3 x 10 Week 2: 3 x 10.

bent over lateral raises These are the exercises for one block of training. flat flies. each of the exercises respect the loading (sets. If you understand the structure of a 4-week block you can easily manipulate volume and intensity according to the needs of the athlete while still respecting the basic principles of block loading. A good exercise selection could go something like this (these are just suggestions): Athlete Day 1: Full back squat. and intensity) guidelines for the week. incline press. those that I will use most of the time. 1-leg back extension. overhead cable triceps extension. The amount of reps. but it’s best to change at least 3 out of 5 for optimum results. EZbar lying triceps extension Day 6: Alternate dumbbell shoulder press. ballistic bench press (light). 1 arm rowing Bodybuilder Day 1: Low incline dumbbell bench press. 1-arm cable lateral raises. The guidelines I gave are those of my “workhorse” blocks. You can use equivalent exercises if you feel more comfortable with other choices.Bodybuilder Day 1: Chest and back Day 2: Legs and abs Day 3: OFF Day 4: Biceps and triceps Day 5: OFF Day 6: Anterior/medial deltoid and rear deltoid Day 7: OFF The exercises At each workout 4-5 exercises should be used. seated rowing. Romanian deadlift. However there are some times where I will use more volume or more intensity depending on the needs and capacities of the athlete. front squat. Changing blocks When you change blocks you must first choose new exercises. lunges. incline lateral raises. power clean from blocks. Obviously. abdominal work Day 4: Zottman curl. the exercises should change after the 4 weeks. sets and intensity can vary depending on the goal of the athlete. these are just examples of possible exercise choices. hammer curl. Bent press. dips. lunges Day 2: Bench press. . leg curl. barbell rowing. You do not have to use all new exercises at each block. jump squat (light) Day 5: Push jerk. Romanian deadlift. overspeed chins (with partner help). push press. barbell rowing Day 2: Full back squat. reps. preacher curl. seated rowing/chins Day 4: Power snatch from blocks.

just because a certain quality is emphasized during a block doesn’t mean that you do not include work for other capacities.Block objectives As I mentioned. The special-strength work category can have several types of blocks. Types of blocks There are three general block divisions. another one to power development (power block). And depending on what type of activity an athlete does. limit strength work accounts for 20-30% and power work for 10-20%. Hypertrophy block: The hypertrophy block is also termed a “structural block. the objective is to increase the size of the muscular structures (muscle and tendons). 50-70% of your training volume is spent on hypertrophy work. Now. another one to speed development (speed block). and yet another one to hypertrophy (hypertrophy block). power block and hypertrophy block. I will briefly discuss each type of block as well as give you the proper block sequence depending on the type of athlete. .” This means that you use a wide array of training methods situated on the whole force spectrum (see the chapter on training methods for a complete listing of these methods) with an emphasis on ballistic work. the correct arrangement of the blocks will vary. Basically. it includes the most effective bodybuilding methods (see the chapter on bodybuilding tips for some ideas). The divisions are: special-strength work. Power block: A power block can also be called “conjugated-sequencing loading. high-volume/controlled eccentric and isolation exercises are used a lot. during a block the goal(s) is/are stable. each having several types of blocks. Strength block: A strength block is also called “concentrated strength loading. During this phase power exercises comprise 50-70% of the training volume while limit strength work accounts for 20-30% and hypertrophy work for 10-20%. During this type of block. strength work will constitute around 75% of the total training volume while 15% will be dedicated to power work and 10% to hypertrophy. track work. During this phase. speed-strength and strength-speed work. and sport work. But generally speaking each training block should only have one general objective.” Meaning that a large volume of work is dedicated to improving limit strength in all of the muscle groups. The most common being: strength block.” Quite simply. For the purposes of this book only the first division of blocks will be explored. Meaning that one block might be devoted to strength development (strength block). Even during a phase where there is a certain emphasis you still try to maintain (or even improve) other physical capacities.

We know that periodization is one of the keys to optimal athletic performance. This is especially true if one compares bodybuilders with most types of competitive athletes. The following sequencing of blocks is a good starting point: Bodybuilder Block 1 Block 2 Block 3 Strength Hypertrophy Hypertrophy Powerlifter Block 1 Hypertrophy Block 2 Strength Block 3 Strength Block 3 Power Block 4 Strength Block 4 Power Block 4 Strength Block 5 Block 6 Hypertrophy Hypertrophy Block 5 Strength Block 5 Power Block 5 Strength Block 6 Strength Block 6 Power Block 6 Power Olympic lifter Block 1 Block 2 Hypertrophy Strength Anaerobic athlete (e.g. can be more complex than that. or periodization. hockey or football player)* Block 1 Block 2 Block 3 Block 4 Hypertrophy Strength Power Hypertrophy *This obviously excludes track and sport divisions which also play an important part in the planning process. But I believe that block training is an easier way to periodize one's training. With block training you can have access to the benefits of periodization without the complexity! It's a win-win situation! . few really understand how to design a periodized program. Conclusion Obviously training planning. By its simplicity this approach is sure to bring you optimal results.Arrangement of blocks Different types of athletes will benefit from different block arrangements. however. It is a much simpler method than a lot of other schemes and thus it makes periodization available to almost everybody.

CHAPTER 7 Planning intensity In this chapter … .Selecting the proper intensity bracket for your goals .Proper intensity for various types of exercises .

g. In some places you will find training intensity defined at the percentage of the maximum capacities. drop-sets. which ensures optimal. the training load is adjusted to your current capacities. This is the official and accepted scientific definition of training intensity. Yet other sources will claim that intensity is associated with “the burn. You do not have to use percentages though. Still. the RM system is more adequate in my opinion. Charles Poliquin had a rep/percentage chart in his “Poliquin Principles” book. and being intense. It did not take into account that depending on the individual’s fiber dominance the percentages for each rep range will vary. it was based on the average guy. some people like to use percentages. For example an intensity level of 6RM means a load that you can do 6 times (but not 7) in good form. however the intensity of the load is not necessarily high in the true sense of the word. supersets. Being intense is a subjective feeling of how hard you are training and should not be confused with intensity. Another problem with the percentage system is that slow-twitch dominant and fast-twitch dominant individuals cannot perform the same number of reps at any given percentage. The RM system means that you should use as much weight as possible for a set number of reps. Training intensity refers to the load used compared to what you can use at your best. I use them myself sometimes for guideline purposes. Intensiveness would refer to methods which cause a lot of fatigue (e.” One must make the distinction between training intensity.“Intensity. the RM system is much better and makes training planification that much easier. intensiveness. etc. If you were to use a percentage planning system and it calls for 3 x 6 at 80%. but not excessive stimulation. and intense” There are a lot of conflicting definitions of intensity. For example.). This form of intensity planning is superior to the percentage system because it is autoregulating. training intensiveness. When planning the training of athletes or bodybuilders you must always use the scientific definition of intensity. These methods are said to be intensive. while on other days. While it was good. on a good day it can actually be too easy to give you optimal stimulation. As you can now see. it has nothing to do with muscle fatigue or the subjective feeling of training hard. Autoregulating means that the training intensity is adapted to your current capacities. In others it will be equated to the amount of muscle fatigue produced by a set. For example if you can bench press 400lbs for one rep and you are using 300lbs for your set you are working at an intensity level of 75% (300 x 100 /400). if you are tired or sick. it will be too heavy and you won’t actually be able to complete the sets. By using a 3 x 6RM planning. . 3 x 6 at 80% will be very easy for a slow-twitch dominant individual but almost impossible to a fast-twitch very dominant.

. However if you like to use percentages to plan your training I suggest that you use this table instead of the old one. Using 60% on the squat will probably be a breeze while it will probably get you killed if you use the same load on the jump squat. utilizing percentages is not as effective as using the RM system because of the large variability of the results depending on the athlete’s fiber type. 2003 As you can see in this table.Here is a modified chart based on the most recent findings as well as the info presented earlier in the book: Number of Reps 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 % for Fasttwitch dominant 100% 92% 87% 82% 79% 76% 73% 70% 67% 64% 61% 58% 55% 52% 50% 48% 46% 44% 42% 40% 39% 38% 37% 36% 35% % for Balanced fiber ratio 100% 95% 90% 87% 84% 83% 80% 77% 74% 71% 69% 67% 65% 63% 61% 59% 57% 55% 53% 52% 51% 50% 49% 48% 47% % for Slowtwitch dominant 100% 98% 96% 94% 92% 90% 88% 86% 84% 82% 80% 78% 76% 74% 72% 70% 68% 66% 64% 62% 61% 60% 59% 58% 57% Christian Thibaudeau. At least you can tailor it to your (or your athlete’s) fiber dominance. Intensity of the load for various types of exercises The actual intensity to use is greatly influenced by the type of exercise you are using.

An athlete should use all 4 intensity zones in his yearly program. ballistic bench press. with some low and moderate intensity sessions to allow for maximal recovery.Type of exercise Ballistic exercises (jump squat. An Olympic lifter or powerlifter should stay in the high and very high intensity zones for most of their training year. speed bench) Olympic lifts Classic strength exercises Low intensity 5-10% of maximum corresponding full lift (e.g. . etc. not necessarily all at once though. ballistic bench = bench press) 50% Moderate intensity 10-15% High intensity 15-20% Very high intensity 20-25% 55% 60% 65% 40-65% 55-70% 65-80% 70-85% 80-90% 85-95% 90-100% 95-100% Now.) High acceleration classic exercises (speed squat. jump squat = back squat. A bodybuilder should spend most of his training time in the moderate and high intensity zones with an occasional cycle of very high intensity loading. depending on your goal you may select one or several intensity brackets to use in your training.

Full recovery versus loading/unloading .Ideal rest intervals .Ideal training splits for bodybuilders .How-to-make twice-a-day workouts work for you .Ideal training splits for athletes .CHAPTER 8 Training frequency In this chapter … .

This isn't so. I don't really know where that 48 hours figure comes from. not strength training. But the recent work of Verkhoshansky on concentrated loading indicate that a greater training effect can be achieved if the athlete never fully recovers during his loading weeks (first 3 weeks of a training block) and allowing a rebound adaptation during an unloading week (very low volume). Some sessions will require 48 hours. But from what I can remember this is based on extensive endurance work research. or even advisable? It would seem logical to say yes. most athletes can train at a level that require 24-48 hours before full recovery is achieved. But this brings two other points that I’d like to address: 1) Is constant "full recovery" necessary. training without full recovery for more than 3-4 weeks is counterproductive. Supertraining and many others talk about it). others might only require 12-24 hours and some may take as much as 72 hours. From experience. So in that regard. If it were true then any training session would require 48 hours before full recovery is accomplished. The real key is the succession of a loading phase and an unloading phase. it's been around for quite some time (Bompa's books. so 3 training sessions per week are optimal. the 48 hours rule doesn't make much sense at all.“Should I stay or should I grow?” A lot of authorities have been saying that after every training session a muscle needs 48 hours to recover. only training when fully recovered is not optimal for the fastest gains. If you think about it. However. Using a succession of a 3 weeks high loading phase and a 1 week unloading phase Baseline Loading period Unloading period Post-block period . Oh. Verkhoshansky indicated that the greater is the loss of capacities during the loading period (meaning imcomplete recovery during the training cycle) the greater will the rebound be after an a unloading week.

you only recover enough to avoid regressing but you do not have large gains. A very hot subject in the realm of Irondom is the number of training days per week should you devote to each muscle group when you want to gain as much muscle as possible. As you can see in the graphic. Some say train each muscle group once per week. So somebody who likes to train a muscle group twice or three times per week should not use the same volume per session as someone who is only training each muscle group once per week. Seldom can you do both! If you train a body part with a lot of sets and reps you will need more than a few days to recover. However there will still be a systemic fatigue build-up (albeit lower than if you were to train the whole body at each time) which can trigger the rebound adaptation talked about earlier. The precautions will allow you to avoid the various pitfalls that await you. First pitfall: Training too much and too often You can either train a lot during a session or train often. Two lower body sessions and two upper body sessions. others will say twice and some even recommend training each muscle group three times per week. Simply put if you train with a high volume and do not give your body enough time to recover you will not progress. . even if there is less than 48 hours between both workouts is it possible to train with a high quality? You bet your ass that it is! That's why with my athletes I use 4 weekly sessions. Who’s right? Everybody is! However to progress optimally you must take some precautions when planning training frequency.Allowing full recovery after each session Baseline Training stress Training stress 2) Is the 24-48 hours rules applicable to training the same muscles groups or the overall body? If one is to train the lower body on day 1 and upper body on day 2. There is 48-72 hours between both upper body sessions and 48-72 hours between both lower body sessions.

However the proper training frequency is dependant on the volume per session. you will improve. as you increase the training frequency you must decrease volume. If you use a very large training volume in one session you will not suffer from involution if you have 5-7 days between workouts for the same muscle group. the volume per session must be high. but then the gains are lost because of involution/detraining. Why? Because if you allow too much rest for the stress you placed on your body. If you allow too much rest between two training sessions for a same muscle group. .Second pitfall: Not training enough or not frequently enough If you have more than 5 days between workouts of a same muscle group you need to use a relatively large training volume per session. but will soon return to baseline. you will loose much of your gains. However if you choose to train each muscle group only once per week. This is called “involution”. This is illustrated in the following graphic: during the training session your capacities diminish only to improve during the recovery period. On the other hand.

if you do 120 total reps per muscle group per week you can do either 1 session of 120 total reps. 2 sessions of 60 reps or 3 sessions of 40 reps.Dividing volume not adding it For maximum progress regardless of how many weekly sessions you have for each muscle group you should do the same weekly training volume. a) Properly planned once-per week session for each muscle groups b) Properly planned twice-per week sessions for each muscle groups . twice per week and three times per week sessions. this will lead to stagnation. The next three graphics shows how your body will react to properly planned once per week. For example. When you add weekly training sessions do not double or triple total weekly volume.

. Selecting the appropriate weekly volume.c) Properly planned three times per week sessions for each muscle groups How to plan volume The following graphics illustrate how to set up training volume depending on your fiber type dominance and the number of weekly workouts per muscle group. Step 1.

How to divide the total weekly volume into sessions .Step 2.

Step 3. Selecting the proper training split a) If you train each muscle group once per week First option: .

Second option: Third option: b) If you train each muscle group twice per week First option: .

But beware of the pitfalls that wait to stop your progress dead in its track! . When properly planned. each type of frequency will yield great results.Second option: c) If you train each muscle group three times per week First option: The take-home message The important thing to remember is that the optimal training volume in a single session will vary depending on how many times you train each muscle group per week. On the opposite side. If you train it once the volume per session must be very high to prevent involution. if you train each muscle group three times per week the volume must be very low to prevent overtraining.

There are several advantages to this: 1. To make the most out of twice-a-day sessions you should vary the type of demand you place on your body. this will make it possible to eat more good food without gaining as much fat. you just said that you hated being in the gym. A recent study by Almuzaini et al. All it does is actually reduce the recovery time . This is a mistake. 3. However it’s easy to abuse such a method. I just can’t wait to get out of there! That’s why I personally love to train twice a day.“Two of a kind: How to make twice-a-day workouts work for you” I have a confession to make: I don’t really like being in the gym. Wait a minute. This is one of the fastest ways to stagnation. So for individuals wanting to gain a lot of muscle. 5. despite the constant attention from the many vixens there and my love for the iron game. That’s right. Fast-twitch individuals and peoples with an efficient nervous system seem to respond much better to split training than to one. A final mistake that peoples make is to work different body parts on each of the two sessions of a same day. By splitting your workload in two daily sessions you are fresher for the second half of the workout. You can see twice as many vixens in the same day! Now. It’s harder to loose motivation. Many peoples will make the mistake of actually doubling their workload. And for individuals looking to get ripped. When you perform the same amount of work divided into two sessions you can recover faster from the workload and thus progress at a more rapid pace. doing two big sessions instead of two small ones. using twice-a-day workouts allow me to use very short sessions each time. You burn more calories. (1998) found that when the same volume of work is divided into two sessions. 6. longer session. being in the gym for only 25-30 minutes doesn’t give you time to get bored! 2. When doing twice-a-day sessions the first workout should be no longer than 30-40 minutes and the second one between 20 and 30 minutes in length. I prefer to do the same amount of work (or only slightly more) in two short sessions than in one big workout. then why train two times in one day? Well. which means greater gains. the total amount of calories burned is greater (mostly due to a higher. Your overall work quality is much higher. the advantage is self-evident! 4. twice-a-day sessions seem to be the Holy Grail and in some sense it can be. Another classic mistake is to work on the same physiological facet in both sessions. more sustained post-exercise oxygen consumption). well. I found that having a functional emphasis in the morning session and a structural emphasis in the evening session to be the best way to train.

2. So how can I make it work for me? If you respect the following guidelines you should benefit greatly from twice-a-day sessions. 6. 3. . Furthermore. A sample program This is an example on how you can structure twice-a-day training for maximum muscle mass gains. after which you should change the exercises around. doing different body parts on each session will actually reduce the training effect. well. Train the same muscle in both daily sessions. if you do not respect them. Include more structural-oriented training in the second session of the day. 120 sec. 5. less weight and a slower tempo. This means heavier weights. The best product available is Surge for this purpose. Use a good post-workout drink after every session. since you only use a very low volume of work at each session. 4. 90 sec. This means more volume. more acceleration or more complex exercises. Include more functional-oriented training in the first session of the day. Train each muscle only once a week. Day 1: Upper back AM workout Exercises Sets 5 Weighted chin-ups 5 Barbell rowing 4 Seated rowing Reps 5 5 8 Tempo 20X 201 201 Rest interval 90 sec. Train for no more than 30-40 minutes in the first session and no more than 20-30 minutes in the second. train at your own peril! : 1. You can pair muscles groups and train 4 days per week or only work one muscle per day and train 6 days per week.that each muscle group receives (each muscle’s turn comes back faster). This routine will be effective for 4 weeks.

90 sec. . 90 sec. 90 sec. Reps 12 15 15 Tempo 301 301 301 Rest interval 60 sec. 120 sec. Reps 5 5 8 Tempo Explosive 201 201 Rest interval 120 sec. Reps 5 5 8 Tempo 201 201 201 Rest interval 120 sec.PM workout Exercises Sets 3 1-arm dumbbell rowing 3 Pullover 3 Incline rear delt raise Day 2: Chest AM workout Exercises Sets 5 Bench press 5 Low incline dumbbell press 4 Weighted dips PM workout Exercises Sets 3 Flat dumbbell flies 3 Low incline dumbbell flies 3 Machine chest press Day 3: Legs AM workout Exercises Sets 5 Power clean from blocks 5 Full back squat 4 Romanian deadlift Reps 12 15 15 Tempo 302 302 302 Rest interval 60 sec. 120 sec. 90 sec. 90 sec. 90 sec.

90 sec. 90 sec. 90 sec. 90 sec. 90 sec. Reps 5 5 8 Tempo Explosive 201 201 Rest interval 120 sec. Reps 5 5 8 Reps 12 15 15 Tempo 201 201 201 Tempo 301 301 301 Rest interval 90 sec. Rest interval 60 sec. . 120 sec. 60 sec. 60 sec. 90 sec.PM workout Exercises Sets 3 1-leg back extension 3 Lunges 3 Leg curl Day 4: Biceps AM workout Exercises Sets 5 Preacher curl 5 Hammer curl 4 Cable curl PM workout Exercises Sets 3 Zottman curl 3 Dumbbell curl 3 Machine preacher curl Day 5: Shoulders AM workout Exercises Sets 5 Push press 5 Bent press 4 Dumbbell shoulder press PM workout Exercises Sets 3 Incline lateral raise 3 1 arm lateral raise 3 Cable front raise Reps 12 15 15 Tempo 301 301 301 Rest interval 60 sec. Reps 12 15 15 Tempo 301 301 301 Rest interval 60 sec. 60 sec.

calmer individuals benefit a bit less from twicea-day workouts. Rest interval 60 sec. and in a sense it is. But if it suits you. as long as you stay within the duration guideline. However each muscle group will have 7 days to recover so you can progress. 90 sec. If you want to try this technique I suggest that you start with a 4-weeks test drive to see how your body handles it. individuals with a short temper and a boiling character do very well on this method while more “stable”. It looks like a lot of work. This is a schedule suited for individuals who obviously have a lot of time to train. If you only want to train 3-4 days per week you can couple some muscles together. “Ideal rest intervals” Recently a lot of attention has been given to rest intervals. Conclusion on twice a day workouts Twice-a-day workouts are an advanced technique and it is not for everybody. and progress very well on this schedule. Some experts advocating short rest intervals to maximize the hormonal response to training or to get an athlete used to producing force while fatigued. 60 sec. From there you can decide if you can thrive on this method. But if done properly it is very effective and will allow you to gain a lot of muscle mass while staying leaner. So which one is it? . From experience.Day 6: Triceps AM workout Exercises Sets 5 JM press 5 Close grip bench press 4 ½ dips PM workout Exercises Sets 3 V-bar cable pressdown 3 1 arm cable pressdown 3 Overhead cable triceps extension Reps 5 5 8 Reps 12 12 15 Tempo 201 201 201 Tempo 301 301 301 Rest interval 90 sec. Another group will prefer to use longer rest interval to allow for maximum muscle and nervous system recovery between sets so that performance can be maximized. 120 sec. it will help you reach an important level of muscular development much faster than you thought possible. 60 sec.

The following tables will be helpful. Somebody who trains to gain muscle mass will benefit from shorter rest intervals than someone training for strength and power. once again it depends on your fiber dominance and your training goal! A slowtwitch individual will require less rest for a similar workload than a fast-twitch one. Table 1. Adequate rest intervals for a mixed fiber type Type of Recommended Effect of RI Effect of RI adaptation rest intervals on physical on neural recovery recovery 60 seconds Incomplete: important accumulation of muscle fatigue Incomplete: some residual CNS fatigue Effect of RI on hormonal response Important increase in growth hormone Overall effect Very effective at stimulating sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.Well. increasing fat loss and good to increase nutrient uptake by the muscles Very effective at stimulation total hypertrophy Most effective at increasing functional hypertrophy with some significant strength gains Good to increase strengthendurance and get more hypertrophy gains from strength work Possible upregulation of the neural drive to palliate for the residual fatigue Maximum effort potential on each set Hyper-activation of the nervous system via a significant potentiation effect Possible upregulation of the neural drive to palliate for the residual fatigue Maximal effort potential on each set Hypertrophy work 90 seconds 120 seconds Incomplete: some accumulation of muscle fatigue Complete Complete Significant increase in growth hormone Slight increase in growth hormone Complete 120 seconds Incomplete: some accumulation of muscle fatigue Incomplete: important residual CNS fatigue Slight increase in growth hormone and free testosterone Strength work 150 seconds Complete Incomplete: some residual CNS fatigue Complete Slight increase in free testosterone Significant increase in free testosterone Slight increase in growth hormone and free testosterone Slight increase in free testosterone Significant increase in free testosterone 180 seconds Complete 180 seconds Complete Incomplete: important residual CNS fatigue Incomplete: some residual CNS fatigue Complete Power work 210 seconds Complete 240 seconds Complete .

Adequate rest intervals for a fast-twitch dominant type Type of Recommended Effect of RI Effect of RI adaptation rest intervals on physical on neural recovery recovery 90 seconds Incomplete: important accumulation of muscle fatigue Incomplete: some residual CNS fatigue Effect of RI on hormonal response Important increase in growth hormone Overall effect Very effective at stimulating sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. increasing fat loss and good to increase nutrient uptake by the muscles Very effective at stimulation total hypertrophy Most effective at increasing functional hypertrophy with some significant strength gains Good to increase strengthendurance and get more hypertrophy gains from strength work Possible upregulation of the neural drive to palliate for the residual fatigue Maximum effort potential on each set Hyper-activation of the nervous system via a significant potentiation effect Possible upregulation of the neural drive to palliate for the residual fatigue Maximal effort potential on each set Hypertrophy work 1200 seconds 150 seconds Incomplete: some accumulation of muscle fatigue Complete Complete Significant increase in growth hormone Slight increase in growth hormone Complete 150 seconds Incomplete: some accumulation of muscle fatigue Incomplete: important residual CNS fatigue Slight increase in growth hormone and free testosterone Strength work 180 seconds Complete Incomplete: some residual CNS fatigue Complete Slight increase in free testosterone Significant increase in free testosterone Slight increase in growth hormone and free testosterone Slight increase in free testosterone Significant increase in free testosterone 210 seconds Complete 210 seconds Complete Incomplete: important residual CNS fatigue Incomplete: some residual CNS fatigue Complete Power work 240 seconds Complete 270 seconds Complete .Table 2.

Table 3. The trick is to choose rest intervals that better suit the needs and goals of each exercise. Adequate rest intervals for a slow-twitch dominant type Type of Recommended Effect of RI Effect of RI adaptation rest intervals on physical on neural recovery recovery 30 seconds Incomplete: important accumulation of muscle fatigue Incomplete: some residual CNS fatigue Effect of RI on hormonal response Important increase in growth hormone Overall effect Very effective at stimulating sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. . increasing fat loss and good to increase nutrient uptake by the muscles Very effective at stimulation total hypertrophy Most effective at increasing functional hypertrophy with some significant strength gains Good to increase strengthendurance and get more hypertrophy gains from strength work Possible upregulation of the neural drive to palliate for the residual fatigue Maximum effort potential on each set Hyper-activation of the nervous system via a significant potentiation effect Possible upregulation of the neural drive to palliate for the residual fatigue Maximal effort potential on each set Hypertrophy work 60 seconds 90 seconds Incomplete: some accumulation of muscle fatigue Complete Complete Significant increase in growth hormone Slight increase in growth hormone Complete 90 seconds Incomplete: some accumulation of muscle fatigue Incomplete: important residual CNS fatigue Slight increase in growth hormone and free testosterone Strength work 120 seconds Complete Incomplete: some residual CNS fatigue Complete Slight increase in free testosterone Significant increase in free testosterone Slight increase in growth hormone and free testosterone Slight increase in free testosterone Significant increase in free testosterone 150 seconds Complete 150 seconds Complete Incomplete: important residual CNS fatigue Incomplete: some residual CNS fatigue Complete Power work 180 seconds Complete 210 seconds Complete As you can see any type of rest interval can have a positive effect on the training effect.

CHAPTER 9 Bodybuilding tips In this chapter … .Short tips that you can use in any training program to increase muscle mass .

I do believe that phases of heavy lifting are necessary to stimulate maximum muscle gain. huge rippling muscles. However. when gaining muscle mass is concerned. Now. In the fully contracted portion of the range of motion you must flex your muscle as hard as . he can lift a lot of weight (if you can call it that) but he has a physique reminiscent of Homer Simpson. I truly believe that using these methods when training for size (strength and power are another animal altogether) can cut in half the time it takes you to add a lot of muscle to your frame. Therefore. simply increase the amount of weight you can lift during your sets.” I’ll tell you. I also believe that increasing the quality of every single repetition of every single set is the absolute fastest way to a muscular physique. I’m not diminishing the importance of using heavy weights. using sloppy form. It’s quite simple. Intrigued? Well read on! Method 1: Maximal Static Contraction (MSC) Don’t worry. our favorite cartoon character. Increasing the quality of each muscle contraction requires a lot of focus because you must truly concentrate on fully contracting the muscle during every inch of every set. I will recommend five simple methods to help you maximize training quality. On the other hand you will see some other guys. I’m not talking about that goofy “Power Factor” method in which you are supposed to grow like a weed using only partial repetitions (the authors themselves must have been inhaling the above-mentioned weed).24721).“And now for something completely different” Phew! Those last few chapters sure were dense in information weren’t they? By now your head is either spinning out of control or you’re about to figure out the secret of the universe! Being the good guy that I am. and mauve weights forever chances are that you will develop about as much muscle mass as a coat rack. What I am talking about is maximizing intramuscular tension during the whole contraction. What gives? Well it turns out that our muscular chum has understood that quality of muscle contraction is often more important than the load used. this section is going to be a little bit on the light side. plenty of times! Ironically most of the time it comes out of the mouth of a fat slob who will not get laid in the next century. How many times have I heard “to get bigger. I thought that I would give your brain a short break before we go on. minding their own business. I’m going to give you a few tips that may help you in your quest to gain more muscle. Yet when you see them train they do not seem to heave as much iron as our plump friend from earlier. with a fantastic physique. One way to do so has long been known as “the peak contraction” (or Weider principle no. The guy dresses like a bodybuilder but actually looks like a tubbybuilder! His training style is characterized by using way too much weight on his sets. Oh. density to no end. if you keep using those pink. fuchsia.

but rather lifting exercises in which the range of motion is very important and in which the target muscle is fully stretched at one point in the movement. Recent neuromuscular research has found that the nervous system will activate more motor units in a muscle following a stretch. . To apply this method you should include at least 2-3 full range of motion exercises for each muscle and really stretch out at the beginning of each rep. The premise of this method is relatively simple. contracting hard in the fully flexed position and contracting hard even as you lower the weight under control. Method 2: Constant maximal tension (CMT) This method is closely related to the first one in that it also targets maximal intramuscular tension during the whole set. as long as it goes up they feel that it’s a good rep. To do so. You must contract so hard that your muscle is almost cramping! This maximal contraction greatly increases the average intramuscular tension during the set because you can generate more force in a maximal static contraction than during a sub-maximal (and even maximal) concentric contraction. During the whole range of motion you must flex your muscle as hard as possible. On top of increasing muscle activation. If you can innervate more motor units. but rather the effect of controlled stretching of a muscle on its activation. That means contracting hard on the concentric portion.) do not lend themselves to this principle as well as isolation exercises. I’m not only talking about the stretch (or myotatic) reflex. deadlifts. A lot of people (like our tubby buddy) simply heave the weight. imagine that your whole set is one big pose down. even heavy weights. When training for size you should include this maximal static contraction (MSC) on every rep of every set of your isolation exercises: compound movements (bench press. squats. there is some evidence that loaded stretching (as in this method) is a powerful muscle hypertrophy and hyperplasia stimulus. It is theorized that this might be due to fascia stretching or an important tension on the stretched muscle fibers.possible (maximum static contraction) and hold that contraction for 2-3 seconds. You must use an intense focus to make sure that your muscle never relaxes one bit during the set. When training for size this way of doing things is not okay! To get a maximal hypertrophy stimulus you must contract your muscles as hard as possible during the whole range of motion. more muscle fibers will receive a growth producing stimulus making your progress that much faster. Simply lifting and lowering the weight. Method 3: Include some stretch movements I’m not talking about regular stretching exercises. etc. you must feel a stretch in the target muscle for this technique to be effective. just won’t cut it as far a building a huge amount of muscle is concerned.

the gains from a subsequent bodybuilding program are a lot more important than if only a bodybuilding program is followed year-round. My favorite method to achieve a great pump is extended sets (extreme drop sets). including some form of heavy lifting periodically in a bodybuilding program is necessary for maximal gains. But I do find that including a “pump set” at the end of a workout for a specific body part greatly increases the rate of muscle gain. Method 6: Quality. So one could focus on heavier weights early on in the training session and work up to more “pump stimulating” methods in the last portion of the workout. Thus you must respect methods 1 and 2 as much as possible. A lot of people will argue that a pump is not necessary to stimulate growth. the quality of the execution of a movement is actually more important then the load.Method 4: The importance of the pump I’m going to kick a sacred cow here. just standing there pumping away is a complete and utter waste of your time. This demands an intense focus. the load is not the most important factor in stimulating hypertrophy. It increases neural efficiency. You must focus on having a maximal contraction on every inch of every rep of every set. Provided that you are smart people and read John Berardi’s stuff on pre-workout nutrition you will have a lot of amino acids floating around in your blood stream. and lots of it. quality! For maximum hypertrophy gains as many reps as possible must be high quality. This means a much greater anabolic (muscle building) response from training. On top of providing for a greater hypertrophy stimulus. If all you want is to gain quality muscle size. quality. . Method 5: Include some heavy lifting As I mentioned in methods 1 and 2. Obviously this will lead to more growth. But to stimulate maximal growth it certainly is! Understand that during a pump the blood flow to the specific muscle being worked is greatly increased. That having been said. this will greatly enhance the mind-muscle link and will give you greater muscle control. They’re right! To stimulate growth it’s not necessary. Well guess what? An increased blood flow to a specific muscle will increase the amount of amino acids being pumped into that muscle and it will significantly increase amino uptake. achieving a good pump is important. which means that when you get back to your normal bodybuilding routine you will be able to recruit and stimulate more muscle fibers for the same exercise. This doesn’t mean that you should go for a maximal pump on all sets of all exercises. It is my experience that after a period of focusing on strength.

Some of your exercises should include a loaded stretch in the starting position. On your last exercise you should use whatever method you can to get as big a pump as you can. 3. . Despite all this advice. still include some heavy lifting in your training plan. follow these guidelines if you want to stimulate maximum size gains: 1.To recap … In brief. 4. Include a maximum static contraction in the fully contracted portion of isolation movements. Flex your muscles as hard as you can during every single inch of each and every rep. 5. 2.

Insider Contrast Training .CHAPTER 10 Examples of bodybuilding programs In this chapter … .Optimized Volume Training .Bench press specialization program .

Enter Optimized Volume Training! The overview For OVT I kept the basic premise of doing 100 total reps per muscle group. In fact I’ve known several athletes who actually got weaker (in regard to their 1RM) on GVT even if they gained a lot of mass. around 1995 to be precise. For these reasons. However the program had some weaknesses. However it’s the last weakness that got me thinking. This includes several effective bodybuilding programs. The reason is that the super high volume. That’s how I came up with a variation of volume training that will increase strength and functional hypertrophy alike. yes. show me something practical” I will present several routine that I have used with my clients. the second generation of GVT: GVT2K. as it’s a time proven approach. but low intensity causes mostly non-functional hypertrophy and doesn’t require an intense neuromotor involvement. but very effective. The premise was relatively simple: Pick a few exercises and do 10 sets of 10 reps. With GVT you cannot use many exercises because of the sheer volume would be too much! As a result you might develop some muscle imbalances. First difference: Every set is in fact a superset of two exercises working the same muscle group(s).Not enough emphasis on some muscles and some muscle functions. the training world was introduced to a new form of bodybuilding training: German Volume Training. That program alone is around 27 pages. but for me to stay motivated I must have at least some fun in the gym! . However the distribution of those reps is vastly different from the original GVT program. bench . . Simple.This one is a new one: GVT neglects strength. Some of which were pointed out in TC’s “German Volume Training 2000”. experimenting and tinkering. I have also included a complete 12 weeks off-season program that I have used with my football players. The first exercise in the superset is a big compound exercise (e.Possible overuse injuries from such a high volume of the same exercises. To name a few of those weaknesses: . was a step forward and still remains a top of the line bodybuilding program. so you can’t say that you’re not getting your money’s worth! “Optimized volume training” Somewhere in the dreaded 1990s. .Very high level of boredom.g. Call me crazy. That article was written by an (at the time) up-and-coming star (Charles Poliquin) and really changed the way peoples train to gain mass.“Enough with the science Thibaudeau.

each body part is only worked once per week. rowing.press. Bench press A2. which should take care of boredom and imbalances. This will allow us to use 4 different exercises for a muscle group. 1 arm rowing D1. But there is no rest between exercises in the same superset. Since we want to be able to lift a bit more weight we’re going to take 120 seconds in OVT. The following split is to be used: Day 1: Chest and back Day 2: Legs and abs Day 3: OFF Day 4: Biceps and triceps Day 5: OFF Day 6: Anterior/medial deltoid and rear deltoid Day 7: OFF While exercise selection can vary according to your preferences. This second exercise is also done for 5 reps. deadlift. Incline bench press B2. even clean or snatch) and it’s done for 5 reps using as much weight as possible. squat. The second exercise in the superset is an isolation exercise for the main muscle being worked in the first exercise. Training split Because of the high demands of the program. Flat dumbbell flies B1. Second difference: While in GVT all the 10 sets were on the same exercise. but with a small load and a very slow tempo. Bent-over barbell rowing D2. we will employ two different supersets per muscle. Seated cable rowing Sets 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 Reps 5 5 5 5 5 5 per arm 5 5 Tempo 201 602 201 602 201 602 201 602 Rest intervals None 120 seconds None 120 seconds None 120 seconds None 120 seconds . Each superset being performed 5 times (50 total reps per superset). Lat pulldown C2. the following has been proven very effective: Day 1: Chest and back Exercise A1. Third difference: In the original program the prescribed rest interval is 60 seconds. Incline dumbbell flies C1.

Incline lateral raise B1. Front squat A2. Dumbbell curl B1. Barbell curl A2. Sumo deadlift C2. Cable pressdown Sets 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 Reps 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 Tempo 201 602 201 602 201 602 201 602 Rest intervals None 120 seconds None 120 seconds None 120 seconds None 120 seconds Day 6: Anterior/medial deltoid and posterior deltoid Exercise A1.Day 2: Leg and abs Exercise A1. Military press A2. Incline rear delt raise Sets 5 5 5 5 5 5 Reps 5 5 5 5 5 5 Tempo 201 602 201 602 201 602 Rest intervals None 120 seconds None 120 seconds None 120 seconds . 1-leg back extension B2. Weighted dips C2. Lying triceps extension D2. Leg curl C1. Alternate dumbbell shoulder press B2. Hammer curl C1. Lunges B1. Preacher curl B2. Day 4: Biceps and Triceps Exercise A1. Romanian deadlift Sets 5 5 5 5 5 5 Reps 5 5 per leg 5 per leg 5 5 5 Tempo 201 602 201 602 201 602 Rest intervals None 120 seconds None 120 seconds None 120 seconds Abs are done according to individual preferences. Cable front raise C1. Decline triceps extension D1. Seated cable row to neck C2.

Perform the same exercises for 4 weeks. Here is the second 4 weeks block: Day 1: Chest and back Exercise A1. Low incline dumbbell flies B1Weigthed dips B2. Pullover C2. Natural gluteham raise B2. For OVT I recommend using blocks of 4 weeks of training. 1-leg deadlift Sets 5 5 5 5 5 5 Reps 5 5 per leg 5 5 5 5 per leg Tempo 201 602 201 602 201 602 Rest intervals None 120 seconds None 120 seconds None 120 seconds Abs are done according to individual preferences. Flat dumbbell flies C1. Deadlift C2. Leg curl C1. Front squat A2.Changing the exercises Exercise variation is important. After which you should engage in an easier form of training for 1-2 weeks to allow for the maximal delayed effect. then choose other exercises and complete another 4 weeks block. Seated cable rowing Sets 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 Reps 5 5 5 5 5 5 per arm 5 5 Tempo 201 602 201 602 201 602 201 602 Rest intervals None 120 seconds None 120 seconds None 120 seconds None 120 seconds Day 2: Leg and abs Exercise A1. A complete cycle of OVT lasts 8 week. Step-ups B1. Low incline dumbbell press A2. T-bar rowing D2. . 1 arm cable rowing D1.

If you can increase the load in this exercise. Overhead rope triceps extension C2. 1-arm lateral raise B1. great! But as long as you are progressing on the heavy exercise you’ll be fine. . Cable pressdown Sets 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 Reps 5 5 5 5 per arm 5 5 per arm 5 5 Tempo 201 602 201 602 201 602 201 602 Rest intervals None 120 seconds None 120 seconds None 120 seconds None 120 seconds Day 6: Anterior/medial deltoid and posterior deltoid Exercise A1. Seated cable row to neck C2. Push press A2. controllable load for the second one. The important thing is to go as heavy as possible for the first exercise of a superset while using a light. Barbell front raise C1. Incline rear delt raise Sets 5 5 5 5 5 5 Reps 5 5 per arm 5 5 5 5 Tempo 201 602 201 602 201 602 Rest intervals None 120 seconds None 120 seconds None 120 seconds Load progression One of the keys to OVT success is the constant drive to increase the load on the first exercise of all supersets from week to week. its role is mostly to increase training volume and total time under tension. Zottman curl B1. Preacher curl B2. 1 arm cable curl C1. Lying triceps extension D2. EZ bar curl A2. load progression is not as important. Standing dumbbell shoulder press B2.Day 4: Biceps and Triceps Exercise A1. 1-arm cable triceps pressdown D1. This will literally make or break the program! Strive to increase the load but not at the expense of proper form! For the second exercise of each superset.

by combining explosive reps with heavy. Simply because you do not alternate between slow and fast sets. slow reps and light slow reps you can get it all in one time! Furthermore. In the old school method an athlete/bodybuilder would alternate periods of various types of training to develop his power. . Basically you do 2 reps with 85-90% of your max. strength and speed all at once” Now I’m going to present to you a relatively simple training technique along with two of its variants. Fast training has a more important neuromotor component than slow training and heavy training increases strength more so than light training. T-mag issue 228) demonstrated how a fast curl increases biceps activation twice as much as the brachialis’ while a slow rep will have the opposite activation pattern. followed by 3 explosive reps at 60% and by slow reps to failure with the same 60%. Read on. And we also know that light and heavy loads promote different adaptations. And if you can get past the Frenchman barrier. It’s a method that’s very effective because it can target several different muscular and neuromuscular capacities at the same time. but between slow and fast reps. that new muscle will be functional and you’ll have the strength to go with your size! “Variable load sets: How to gain size. it will be very effective for you too! The method is an adaptation of what’s known as contrast training which refers to alternating between a slow set and a high speed set. The new method is called Insider Contrast.2. a French sport scientist. Now. The method comes from the work of Gilles Cometti. Well. The Big Kahuna of insider contrast training This is my favourite variation of the IC method and it can develop power. Not only will it give you a lot of new muscle. we also know that fast and slow exercises can lead to the recruitment of different muscles.Conclusion I firmly believe that with OVT a new door has been opened as far as gaining size is concerned. An article by Dr. size and strength. don’t go out screaming how there’s no strong Frenchmen! I must say that the method has been proven effective in several athletes.Tim Ziegenfuss (Short Topics no. strength and size all at the same time. it’s not as crazy as you think! Some logic We know that slow and fast training can have drastically different training effects.

slow reps to failure at 30%.3 Rep no. strength and power at the same time.2 Rep no.An example could be: The Big Kahuna Bench press (max 400lbs) Load 340-360lbs (85-90%) 340-360lbs (85-90%) 240lbs (60%) 240lbs (60%) 240lbs (60%) 240lbs (60%) Rep Rep no. The progression is: 2 reps at 85-90%. A set could look like this: The painful extended variation Bench press (max 400lbs) Rep Load Type of contraction Rep no.3 240lbs (60%) Explosive rep Rep no.21 120lbs (30%) Static hold *Obviously the number of reps can change depending on where you reach failure.4 Rep no.16-20 120lbs (30%) Slow tempo rep (312) Rep no. 3 explosive reps at 60%.6 – 12 240lbs (60%) Slow tempo reps (312) Rep no. .1 340-360lbs (85-90%) Maximum effort Rep no.6 to failure Type of contraction Maximum effort Maximum effort Explosive rep Explosive rep Explosive rep Slow tempo reps (312) This method is very effective for individuals wanting to add size.13 120lbs (30%) Explosive rep Rep no.5 240lbs (60%) Explosive rep Reps no.2 340-360lbs (85-90%) Maximum effort Rep no. slow reps to failure at 60%. but it should only used infrequently because it’s so hard on the body.4 240lbs (60%) Explosive rep Rep no. 3 explosive reps at 30%.5 Rep no.15 120lbs (30%) Explosive rep Rep no.14 120lbs (30%) Explosive rep Rep no. static hold (sticking point) with 30%.1 Rep no. With this method 3-5 sets per exercise should be used. The painful extended variation This variation of the IC method is truly an example of masochism! It is a great shock method to stimulate your body out of a plateau.

2 reps at 80% and 2 explosive reps at 50%.7 Rep no.1 Rep no.This is a very intense method. one that should be used with care.5 Rep no. more strength-endurance and powerendurance.4 Rep no. It is a great introduction to IC training and can provide for a very pleasing workout.8 Type of contraction Maximum effort Maximum effort Explosive rep Explosive rep Maximum effort Maximum effort Explosive rep Explosive rep This form of IC training can be used for 3-5 sets easily. A typical set will looks like this: 2 reps at 80%. The advantage of this method compared to the regular variation is that it will develop a little more muscle mass.3 Rep no. 2 explosive reps at 50%. size and power with this method. A set could look like this: The lazy man’s insider contrast Bench press (max 400lbs) Load 320lbs (80%) 320lbs (80%) 200lbs (50%) 200lbs (50%) 320lbs (80%) 320lbs (80%) 200lbs (50%) 200lbs (50%) Rep Rep no. For peoples simply interested in gaining a bit more strength.2 Rep no. Insider contrast block Week 2 Week 3 Big Kahuna Painful extended 3 sets of 4 exercises 2 sets of 3 exercises per session per session High difficulty Very high difficulty Week 4 Regular training 2 sets of 10 reps for 4 exercises/session Low difficulty . Only 1-2 such sets are performed per exercise. I recommend this method as an introduction to insider contrast training as it’s easier to handle at first. The lazy man’s insider contrast training This variation is less painful but can still provide for a very powerful growth stimulus. You will still be able to develop good strength. Can I periodize the approach? Yes! A very good training cycle would look like this: Week 1 Lazy man’s 4 sets of 4 exercises per session Moderate difficulty . size and power this is certainly the best choice.6 Rep no.

It also provides for a great training variety and lots of pain! I like to use an antagonist split for this method: Day 1: Chest and back Day 2: Legs and abs Day 3: OFF Day 4: Biceps and triceps Day 5: OFF Day 6: Anterior/medial deltoid and rear deltoid Day 7: OFF Obviously you can use a different split just as effectively. but also in physical capacities. A very hard. but powerful method which will bring you a lot of gains not only in muscle size.This is a typical progressive loading/unloading approach that has stood the test of time. Conclusion This is yet one more weapon to add to your arsenal. Certainly a good option for somebody who wants it all! .

But a part of me just can resist having a big bench press … after all. pectorals and shoulders will be worked. but mostly to maintain strength and size while blasting off your bench press. but what do you know about building a big bench? Well my friend.“We have a lift off : Blast your bench press into outer space” Hey man. abs and lower body. The week is going to start and end with a bench press workout. It seems that sometime during the 70s or 80s it was decided that the bench press was going to be the reference in term of strength and manhood. During that time bench pressing is going to be your number one priority. The last workout of the week will be a high volume session to promote maximum supercompensation during the weekend. As a guy who’s naturally much stronger in the lower part of my body I don’t necessarily like that bench press dogma. lower body Thursday: Off Friday: Bench press high volume. So that leaves either 1 or 2 workouts to do back. biceps. The split might look like this: A. biceps. The split I’m suggesting an 8 weeks bench press specialization course.3 Workouts per week split Monday: Bench press high intensity. The first workout of the week will be a high intensity session since your nervous system and muscles will be fresh from the weekend. you might squat and clean a lot. I had to experiment and find some special techniques than can make a huge difference. abs Saturday: Off Sunday: Off . You will obviously perform other types of training. the triceps. On the bench press day. how much do you bench? If you’ve spent any time at all in the gym and have a decent physique it’s likely that you’ve heard that one a million time already. you’re an olympic lifter. it’s when you suck at something that you learn the most about it! Were I naturally gifted for the bench press everything would have worked. we could all stand to be more manly couldn’t we? Christian. But since I’m not gifted. abs Tuesday: Off Wednesday: Back.

1 x 2 1 x 3. one auxiliary exercise. On this exercise you do not control the tempo. the goal is simply to lift as much weight as possible for the prescribed number of repetitions. abs Wednesday: Off Thursday: Lower body. 3 x 4 Week 3 Week 4 1 x 5. The goal is to train the CNS to handle and vanquish big loads. 1 x 3. 1 x 1 1 x 5.4 workouts per week split Monday: Bench press high intensity Tuesday: Back. 1 x 2. 1 x 2 1 x 3. 1 x 2.B. The grip width is 18” (that is the width between both indexes when holding the bar). biceps. one assistance exercise and one remedial exercise. Week 1 Sets/ Reps 3x5 Week 2 3 x 5. Both blocks have a similar structure. 1 x 1 . Block 1: Week 1-4 Main exercise: 18” bench press This is a semi-close grip bench press. abs Friday: Bench press high volume Saturday: Off Sunday: Off Bench press high intensity workout These workouts will generally revolve around lifting heavy weights on several movements. On this day you have one main exercise. 1 x 3. but the exercises will change. During the 8 weeks course you will have two training blocks lasting 4 weeks each. Lower the bar down to your lower chest and press it up in a straight line.

Auxiliary exercise: Static hold The objective of this exercise is to get you used to holding very heavy weights at arms length. you have an inhibitory reflex which is the “gift” of the Golgi Tendon Organ (GTO). You see. Week 1 Sets/ Time Load 3 x 10 seconds 110% Week 2 4 x 8 seconds 115% Week 3 5 x 6 seconds 120% Week 4 3 x 4 seconds 125% Assistance exercise: Bradford press Start with the bar on your shoulders. Reduced inhibition is one of the reasons why you see some small individuals handle big weights. it tells your muscles to stop producing force. Press it just high enough so that it can clear the head and . When muscle tension is very high. By holding sub-maximal weights you condition your nervous system and motor reflexes to accept this high form of loading and muscular tension. This is a protective mechanism but in most individuals it is set too conservatively and can impair your lifting prowess. press it just high enough so that it can clear the head and bring it to your clavicle. So for this exercise you simply un-rack (with a partner) a load that is greater than your maximum and hold the load in the lock-out position for a certain period of time.

1 x 1. 1 x 3. the goal is simply to lift as much weight as possible for the prescribed number of repetitions. This is a great exercise to develop the shoulders and the drive off the chest on a bench press. 1 x 1 1 x 4. Week 1 Sets/ Reps 3x5 Week 2 6x4 Week 3 4x3 Week 4 2x5 Remedial exercise: Lying dumbbell triceps extension Lie down on a bench. Week 5 Sets/ Reps 3x4 Week 6 3 x 4. something in the line of 503 will do just fine. Block 2: Week 5-8 This is the second exercises block and it’s performed after the first 4-weeks block. arms fully extended. 1 x 2 1 x 2. That’s one repetition. Week 1 Sets/ Reps 3 x 10 Week 2 5x8 Week 3 3x6 Week 4 2 x 10 That’s it for the first block as far as the high intensity workout is concerned. 1 x 3. palms facing each other. It’s also 4 weeks in duration. hold a dumbbell in each hand. 1 x 1. Lower the bar down to your lower chest and press it up in a straight line. On this exercise you do not control the tempo.bring it to the shoulders. 1 x 1 . Bring the dumbbells down with a flexion of the elbow only then bring them back up. 3 x 3 Week 7 Week 8 1 x 4. 1 x 2 1 x 2. For this exercise use a slow tempo. Main exercise: 32” bench press This is your regular bench press. The 32” is still the distance between your two index fingers when your hands are wrapped around the bar.

. rest 1-2 seconds than perform the next rep. Start the bar so that you have approximately 8” left for the lock out (or just a bit higher than your sticking point).Auxiliary exercise: ½ bench press (pin press in rack) On this exercise you still continue to stress the CNS by using an overload (load higher than your max) but you add a dynamic facet by making it an half lift. Start the bar off the pins and press it up. Week 5 Sets/ Reps Load 3x5 105% Week 6 6x4 110% Week 7 4x3 115% Week 8 3x2 120% Assistance exercise: Push press This exercise is a great shoulder builder and will really improve your strength at the start of the bench press. It also teaches you to “explode” at the start of the movement. Lower it all the way to the pins. dip down slightly and push the weight up explosively with a powerful leg and arm drive. To perform it stand upright with the bar on your clavicle.

Contrary to the high intensity workout. arms fully extended. you will not change the program after 4 weeks. one auxiliary exercise. two assistance exercises and one remedial exercise. The objective it to lower the bar to the chest and throw the load in the air. palms facing each other. Bring the dumbbells down with a flexion of the elbow only then bring them back up. hold a dumbbell in each hand. then you catch it . That’s because of the nature of this workout which can be tolerated for a longer period of time.Week 5 Sets/ Reps 3x5 Week 6 6x4 Week 7 4x3 Week 8 2x5 Remedial exercise: Lying dumbbell triceps extension Lie down on a bench. something in the line of 503 will do just fine. For this exercise use a slow tempo. Week 5 Sets/ Reps 3 x 10 Week 6 5x8 Week 7 4x6 Week 8 2 x 10 Bench press high volume workout These workouts have a little less intensity in that you will lift lighter loads. Block 1: Week 1-8 Main exercise: Ballistic bench press This is the only exercise in which I consider using the Smith machine effective. On this day you also have one main exercise. But they are still hard workouts and will participate in your development and improvement. You will only perform one 8-weeks block. not to mention that the exercises used do not have their equivalent.

This exercise will build a lot of muscle mass as well as strength of the chest. The load you use should be light.and start again. 5 seconds. but to be ballistic. Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Sets/Reps 3 x 10 55% Load 6x8 60% 4x6 65% 3x4 70% 3 x 12 55% 6 x 10 60% 4x8 65% 3x6 70% Assistance exercise: Dumbbell bent press . then blast the weight up as fast as possible. because the goal is not to just be explosive. The eccentric (lowering) portion of the bench press is slow. Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Sets/Reps 8 x 4 20% Load 12 x 3 25% 8x2 30% 6x1 35% 8x5 20% 12 x 4 25% 8x3 30% 6x2 35% Auxiliary exercise: Quasi-isometric/Stop/Explosive bench press This exercise is really a combination of 2 training methods: superslow eccentric training and stop-explosion training. you do a 2 seconds pause when the bar is on your chest.

2: Iso-ballistic push-up Another drill to increase upper body power. shoulder and triceps size. It’s not for the faint of heart. Lower yourself in a push up position. Land in a “down” push up position and hold for 15 seconds. Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Sets/Reps 2 x 8 2 x 10 2 x 12 1 x 15 2 x 10 2 x 12 2 x 15 1 x 20 So there you have a very explosive 8-weeks bench press specialisation program. you must have a strong drive to succeed on this program. Using this exercise is a great insurance policy for your shoulders during an intense bench press program. It will greatly increase your bench press strength as well as chest. But if you give your best effort it will work wonders for you.Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Sets/Reps 2 x 10 6x8 3x6 2x4 2x8 6 x6 3x4 2x2 Assistance exercise no. It will increase strength in all the deltoids’ heads and also develop your rotator cuff muscles. Project yourself in the air. . that’s one rep. Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Sets/Reps 3 x 5 6x5 4x5 2x5 3x6 6x6 4x6 2x6 Remedial exercise: Shoulder box This exercise is a very effective shoulder builder.

Actual training program .CHAPTER 11 Example of a 12-week football program In this chapter … .Exercise descriptions for the movements involved in the football program .Illustration of the agility drills included .

FOOTBALL PERFORMANCE TRAINING High Performance Training Football.com . Level 1 Phase 1 Weeks 1-12 Coach Christian Thibaudeau The_Beast@t-mag.

Squat press x 6 4. Barbell row x 6 . 1. Goodmorning x 6 5.Introduction and explanations of the exercises Javorek complex : Five drills performed one after another without any rest. This is a preparatory exercise complex and is used as a specific warm-up tool and a way to increase overall muscle mass. Power snatch pull x 6 2. Power clean pull x 6 3.

Once again. .Power clean from blocks: This drill’s objective is the development of the athlete’s power output (power = force x velocity). Speed back squat: Using a moderate load (50-60% of the squat max) the athlete lifts the barbell as fast as possible. The bar is brought from knee height up to the shoulders. The movement must be explosive. the objective is to generate a high rate of force production and power output.

Jump squat: This is one of the best exercises to build up a huge vertical jump. Plate drag: Another decent hamstring exercise used to emphasize the development of the concentric portion of the knee flexion/hip flexion function. Back extension 1-leg: Fantastic hamstring exercise. A light load is used (10-30% of the squat max) and the objective is to jump up as high as possible. . The hamstrings are the key speed muscles.

and pectorals. Lower in 5 seconds Pause 2 seconds Explode! Dumbbell bench press: General strengthening exercise for the arms. . It’s basically a cheated military press. You use a slight leg drive at the beginning of the movement. Push press: Great exercise to develop shoulder and arm strength. The arms still do most of the work. The load to be used is between 50 and 70% to maximize acceleration. Iso bench press: Great drill to increase pectoral mass and pushing power. just enough to get the bar going.Leg curl: A general hamstring strengthening exercise to develop the knee flexion function of the hamstrings. pause it on the chest for 2 seconds. shoulders. and EXPLODE. Lower the bar to the chest in 5 seconds.

and forearm strengthening exercise. Preacher curl: General biceps. Zottman curl: General biceps.Triceps extension with dumbbells: General triceps strengthening exercise. brachialis. and forearm strengthening exercise. brachialis. .

Lunges: Great exercise to increase lower body strength while stretching the hip muscles at the same time.Cuban press: To help prevent shoulder injuries. The bar is brought from knee height up to overhead. . The movement must be explosive. Power snatch from blocks: This drill’s objective is the development of the athlete’s power output (power = force x velocity). Used as a warm-up exercise.

Push jerk: Similar to the push press. yet humbling exercise. however you use a powerful leg drive to throw the bar up in the air. Very few athletes can actually bring themselves up at first. The goal is to kneel down and try to lower your torso to the ground under control then bring yourself back up.Front squat: Excellent quadricep and glute exercise. This is a great exercise to develop the knee flexion function of the hamstrings. Natural glute-ham raise: It’s a simple. so you might want to help yourself with a little arm push to get you started off the ground. .

Use a Smith machine to perform this drill safely.Bench press: General strengthening exercise for the upper body pushing muscles. that’s one rep. Lower yourself into a push-up position. lower the bar to the chest and throw it in the air as high as possible. Using a light load (10-30% of max bench press). Land in a “down” push up position and hold for 15 seconds. Iso ballistic push-ups: Another drill to increase upper body power. Ballistic bench press: This drill focuses on the explosive capacity of the upper body. Hold this position for 15 seconds . Project yourself in the air.

Sumo deadlift: Excellent exercise to strengthen the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and lower back.

Romanian deadlift: Excellent hamstring exercise. Lower the bar by bending the trunk forward and bringing the hips back. Knee angle stays the same during the whole movement.

Bulgarian deadlift: Exercise targeting unilateral lower back, hip, and leg development.

Shoulder box: Shoulder exercise used as a warm-up drill to help prevent shoulder injuries.

Stretching routine

1 x 30 seconds

1 x 30 seconds/side

1 x 30 seconds/side

1 x 30 seconds/side

1 x 30 seconds

1 x 30 seconds/side

1 x 30 seconds

1 x 30 seconds

1 x 30 seconds/side

1 x 30 seconds

Agility drills Cone drills 1 * 10m between cones * Do the patterns at 75% of your top speed * Repeat each pattern twice (once in each direction) A. Box
Patterns a) Forward all b) Forward, sideways, forward c) Forward, sideways, backpedal

B. ‘’ X ‘‘
3 Pattern 4 5 2 1 a) Forward all

C. Star
Patterns a) Forward all b) Forward, back, forward, back, forward, back

4

3

5 6

2 1

Cone drills 2 * 10m between cones * Do the patterns at 75% of your top speed * Repeat each pattern twice (once in each direction) A. Chair
Patterns a) Forward all b) Forward, sideways, forward, forward c) Forward, sideways, forward, backpedal

B. ‘’M’’
Patterns a) Forward all b) Forward, back, forward, back 3 4 2 1

Ladder drills 1 a) High knees short steps b) High knees long steps c) High knees short steps lateral (no cross-over) d) High knees long steps lateral (no cross-over) e) “High knees” jumps with both legs Ladder drills 2 a) High knees short steps (back pedal) b) High knees long steps (back pedal) c) “High knees” jumps with one leg (10 jumps per leg) d) “High knees” jumps with both legs (backwards) .

Phase 1– Block A: Concentrated loading .Week 1 Block Preparation Monday Shoulder warm-up Shoulder box 2 x 10 Cuban press 2 x 10 Wednesday Javorek Complex Snatch power pull 1 x 6 Clean power pull 1 x 6 Squat press 1 x 6 Good morning 1 x 6 Barbell row 1 x 6 *No rest between exercises Thursday Saturday Shoulder warm-up Shoulder box 2 x 10 Cuban press 2 x 10 Sunday Javorek Complex Snatch power pull 1 x 6 Clean power pull 1 x 6 Squat press 1 x 6 Good morning 1 x 6 Barbell row 1 x 6 *No rest between exercises Speed/Agility Cone drills 1 4 x 200m 75% intensity 90 seconds of rest Upper body strength Incline bench press 5x6 Lat pulldown or chin 5x6 Push press 5x6 Triceps extension 3 x 10 Zottman curl 3 x 10 Ladder drills 1 Ladder drills 2 4 x 300m Form running 120 seconds of rest Upper body strength & power Bench press 5x6 Push jerk 5x6 Ballistic bench press 5 x 6 (15% max bench) Seated rowing 5x6 Cone drills 2 Development Lower body strength Back squat 5x6 Sumo deadlift 5x6 Lunges 3 x 10/leg Back extension 1-leg 3 x 10/leg Leg curl 3 x 10 Lower body strength & power Front squat 5x6 Power snatch block 5x6 Power clean block 5x6 Step-up 3 x 10/leg Single-leg leg press (feet high on board) 3 x 10/leg Optional work DB bench press 3 x 12 Preacher curl 3 x 12 Plate drag 3 x 12 Natural glute-ham raise 3 x 12 Farmer’s walk 6 x 100m walking Stretching routine DB bench press 3 x 12 Preacher curl 3 x 12 Plate drag 3 x 12 Natural glute-ham raise 3 x 12 Farmer’s walk 6 x 50m strutting Stretching routine Conditioning Cool down Stretching routine Stretching routine .

3 x 5 Lat pulldown or chin 3 x 6. 3 x 5 Sumo deadlift 3 x 6. 3 x 5 Power snatch block 3 x 6. 3 x 5 Triceps extension 4 x 10 Zottman curl 4 x 10 Ladder drills 1 Ladder drills 2 5 x 300m Form running 120 seconds of rest Upper body strength & power Bench press 3 x 6.Phase 1– Block A: Concentrated loading . 3 x 5 Push jerk 3 x 6. 3 x 5 Lunges 4 x 8/leg Back extension 1-leg 4 x 8/leg Leg curl 4x8 Lower body strength & power Front squat 3 x 6. 3 x 5 Push press 3 x 6. 3 x 5 Power clean block 3 x 6.Week 2 Block Preparation Monday Shoulder warm-up Shoulder box 2 x 10 Cuban press 2 x 10 Wednesday Javorek Complex Snatch power pull 1 x 6 Clean power pull 1 x 6 Squat press 1 x 6 Good morning 1 x 6 Barbell row 1 x 6 *No rest between exercises Thursday Saturday Shoulder warm-up Shoulder box 2 x 10 Cuban press 2 x 10 Sunday Javorek Complex Snatch power pull 1 x 6 Clean power pull 1 x 6 Squat press 1 x 6 Good morning 1 x 6 Barbell row 1 x 6 *No rest between exercises Speed/Agility Cone drills 1 5 x 200m 75% intensity 90 seconds of rest Upper body strength Incline bench press 3 x 6. 3 x 5 Cone drills 2 Development Lower body strength Back squat 3 x 6. 3 x 5 Ballistic bench press 6 x 5 (20% max bench) Seated rowing 3 x 6. 3 x 5 Step-up 4 x 8/leg Single-leg leg press (feet high on board) 4 x 8/leg Optional work DB bench press 3 x 12 Preacher curl 3 x 12 Plate drag 3 x 12 Natural glute-ham raise 3 x 12 Farmer’s walk 7 x 100m walking Stretching routine DB bench press 3 x 12 Preacher curl 3 x 12 Plate drag 3 x 12 Natural glute-ham raise 3 x 12 Farmer’s walk 7 x 50m strutting Stretching routine Conditioning Cool down Stretching routine Stretching routine .

3 x 5 . 1 x 4 Cone drills 2 Development Lower body strength Back squat 3 x 6. 1 x 4 Sumo deadlift 3 x 6. 1 x 4 Push jerk 3 x 6.Week 3 Block Preparation Monday Shoulder warm-up Shoulder box 2 x 10 Cuban press 2 x 10 Wednesday Javorek Complex Snatch power pull 1 x 6 Clean power pull 1 x 6 Squat press 1 x 6 Good morning 1 x 6 Barbell row 1 x 6 *No rest between exercises Thursday Saturday Shoulder warm-up Shoulder box 2 x 10 Cuban press 2 x 10 Sunday Javorek Complex Snatch power pull 1 x 6 Clean power pull 1 x 6 Squat press 1 x 6 Good morning 1 x 6 Barbell row 1 x 6 *No rest between exercises Speed/Agility Cone drills 1 6 x 200m 75% intensity 60 seconds of rest Upper body strength Incline bench press 3 x 6. 1 x 4 Triceps extension 5 x 10 Zottman curl 5 x 10 Ladder drills 1 Ladder drills 2 6 x 300m Form running 90 seconds of rest Upper body strength & power Bench press 3 x 6. 1 x 4 Step-up 5 x 6/leg Single-leg leg press (feet high on board) 5 x 6/leg Optional work DB bench press 3 x 12 Preacher curl 3 x 12 Plate drag 3 x 12 Natural glute-ham raise 3 x 12 Farmer’s walk 8 x 100m walking Stretching routine DB bench press 3 x 12 Preacher curl 3 x 12 Plate drag 3 x 12 Natural glute-ham raise 3 x 12 Farmer’s walk 8 x 50m strutting Stretching routine Conditioning Cool down Stretching routine Stretching routine . 3 x 5 . 3 x 5 . 3 x 5 . 3 x 5 . 1 x 4 Power clean block 3 x 6. 1 x 4 Lat pulldown or chin 3 x 6. 3 x 5 . 3 x 5 . 1 x 4 Power snatch block 3 x 6. 1 x 4 Push press 3 x 6. 3 x 5 . 1 x 4 Lunges 5 x 6/leg Back extension 1-leg 5 x 6/leg Leg curl 5x6 Lower body strength & power Front squat 3 x 6.Phase 1– Block A: Concentrated loading . 3 x 5 . 3 x 5 . 1 x 4 Ballistic bench press 7 x 4 (25% max bench) Seated rowing 3 x 6. 3 x 5 .

1 x 4 . 1 x 4 . 1 x 4 . 2 x 3 Step-up 3 x 4/leg Single-leg leg press (feet high on board) 3 x 4/leg Optional work DB bench press 3 x 12 Preacher curl 3 x 12 Plate drag 3 x 12 Natural glute-ham raise 3 x 12 Farmer’s walk 4 x 100m walking Stretching routine DB bench press 3 x 12 Preacher curl 3 x 12 Plate drag 3 x 12 Natural glute-ham raise 3 x 12 Farmer’s walk 4 x 50m strutting Stretching routine Conditioning Cool down Stretching routine Stretching routine . 2 x 3 Push jerk 1 x 5.Phase 1– Block A: Concentrated loading . 2 x 3 Lat pulldown or chin 1 x 5. 2 x 3 Ballistic bench press 3 x 3 (30% max bench) Seated rowing 1 x 5. 2 x 3 Power snatch block 1 x 5. 1 x 4 . 1 x 4 . 1 x 4 . 2 x 3 Lunges 3 x 4/leg Back extension 1-leg 3 x 4/leg Leg curl 3x4 Lower body strength & power Front squat 1 x 5. 1 x 4 . 2 x 3 Push press 1 x 5. 1 x 4 . 1 x 4 .Week 4 Block Preparation Monday Shoulder warm-up Shoulder box 2 x 10 Cuban press 2 x 10 Wednesday Javorek Complex Snatch power pull 1 x 6 Clean power pull 1 x 6 Squat press 1 x 6 Good morning 1 x 6 Barbell row 1 x 6 *No rest between exercises Thursday Saturday Shoulder warm-up Shoulder box 2 x 10 Cuban press 2 x 10 Sunday Javorek Complex Snatch power pull 1 x 6 Clean power pull 1 x 6 Squat press 1 x 6 Good morning 1 x 6 Barbell row 1 x 6 *No rest between exercises Speed/Agility Cone drills 1 4 x 200m 75% intensity 60 seconds of rest Upper body strength Incline bench press 1 x 5. 1 x 4 . 2 x 3 Power clean block 1 x 5. 2 x 3 Cone drills 2 Development Lower body strength Back squat 1 x 5. 1 x 4 . 2 x 3 Sumo deadlift 1 x 5. 2 x 3 Triceps extension 2 x 10 Zottman curl 2 x 10 Ladder drills 1 Ladder drills 2 4 x 300m Form running 90 seconds of rest Upper body strength & power Bench press 1 x 5.

Phase 1– Block B: Conjugated-sequencing loading .Week 5 Block Preparation Monday Shoulder warm-up Shoulder box 2 x 10 Cuban press 2 x 10 Wednesday Javorek Complex Snatch power pull 1 x 6 Clean power pull 1 x 6 Squat press 1 x 6 Good morning 1 x 6 Barbell row 1 x 6 *No rest between exercises Thursday Saturday Shoulder warm-up Shoulder box 2 x 10 Cuban press 2 x 10 Sunday Javorek Complex Snatch power pull 1 x 6 Clean power pull 1 x 6 Squat press 1 x 6 Good morning 1 x 6 Barbell row 1 x 6 *No rest between exercises Speed/Agility Cone drills 1 4 x 100m 85% intensity 90 seconds of rest Ladder drills 1 10 x 20m 100% intensity 60 seconds of rest Lower body strength & power Back squat 4x4 Romanian deadlift 4x4 Lunges 3 x 10/leg Back extension 1-leg 3 x 10/leg Power snatch block 4x4 Ladder drills 2 4 x 150m 80% intensity 120 seconds of rest Upper body strength & power Bench press 4x6 Push jerk 4x6 Ballistic bench press 5 x 6 (17% max bench) Seated rowing 5x6 Iso ballistic push ups 4x4 Cone drills 2 Development Upper body Strength & power Incline bench press 4x4 Lat pulldown or chin 4x4 Push press 4x4 Ballistic bench press 5 x 6 (17% max bench) Lower body strength & power Front squat 4x6 Power snatch block 4x6 Power clean block 4x6 Jump squat 3 x 10 (15% squat max) Optional work DB bench press 3 x 12 Preacher curl 3 x 12 Plate drag 3 x 12 Natural glute-ham raise 3 x 12 Farmer’s walk 6 x 100m walking Stretching routine DB bench press 3 x 12 Preacher curl 3 x 12 Plate drag 3 x 12 Natural glute-ham raise 3 x 12 Farmer’s walk 6 x 50m strutting Stretching routine Conditioning Cool down Stretching routine Stretching routine .

2 x 5 Jump squat 4 x 8 (20% squat max) Jump lunges 4 x 5/leg (10% squat max) Optional work DB bench press 3 x 12 Preacher curl 3 x 12 Plate drag 3 x 12 Natural glute-ham raise 3 x 12 Farmer’s walk 7 x 100m walking Stretching routine Plate drag 3 x 12 Natural glute-ham raise 3 x 12 Farmer’s walk 7 x 50m strutting Stretching routine Conditioning Cool down Stretching routine Stretching routine . 2 x 3 Power clean block 2 x 4. 2 x 3 Lat pulldown or chin 2 x 4.Week 6 Block Preparation Monday Shoulder warm-up Shoulder box 2 x 10 Cuban press 2 x 10 Wednesday Javorek Complex Snatch power pull 1 x 6 Clean power pull 1 x 6 Squat press 1 x 6 Good morning 1 x 6 Barbell row 1 x 6 *No rest between exercises Thursday Saturday Shoulder warm-up Shoulder box 2 x 10 Cuban press 2 x 10 Sunday Javorek Complex Snatch power pull 1 x 6 Clean power pull 1 x 6 Squat press 1 x 6 Good morning 1 x 6 Barbell row 1 x 6 *No rest between exercises Speed/Agility Cone drills 1 5 x 100m 85% intensity 90 seconds of rest Ladder drills 1 12 x 20m 100% intensity 60 seconds of rest Lower body strength & power Back squat 2 x 4. 2 x 5 Power snatch block 2 x 6.Phase 1– Block B: Conjugated-sequencing loading . 2 x 5 Power clean block 2 x 6. 2 x 5 Iso ballistic push ups 4x5 Iso bench press 4 x 5 (50% max bench press) DB bench press 3 x 12 Preacher curl 3 x 12 Cone drills 2 Development Upper body Strength & power Incline bench press 2 x 4. 2 x 3 Lunges 3 x 8/leg Back extension 1-leg 3 x 8/leg Power snatch block 2 x 4. 2 x 5 Ballistic bench press 6 x 5 (22% max bench) Seated rowing 2 x 6. 2 x 3 Push press 2 x 4. 2 x 3 Ballistic bench press 6 x 5 (22% max bench) Medicine ball throw from chest (10-20lbs) 4x5 Lower body strength & power Front squat 2 x 6. 2 x 3 Ladder drills 2 5 x 150m 80% intensity 120 seconds of rest Upper body strength & power Bench press 2 x 6. 2 x 5 Push jerk 2 x 6. 2 x 3 Romanian deadlift 2 x 4.

1 x 2 Push press 2 x 4. 1 x 2 Power clean block 2 x 4. 1 x 4 Power snatch block 2 x 6. 1 x 4 Jump squat 5 x 6 (25% squat max) Jump lunges 5 x 5/leg (10% squat max) Depth jumps 3x5 Optional work DB bench press 3 x 12 Preacher curl 3 x 12 Plate drag 3 x 12 Natural glute-ham raise 3 x 12 Farmer’s walk 8 x 100m walking Stretching routine DB bench press 3 x 12 Preacher curl 3 x 12 Plate drag 3 x 12 Natural glute-ham raise 3 x 12 Farmer’s walk 8 x 50m strutting Stretching routine Conditioning Cool down Stretching routine Stretching routine . 1 x 2 Romanian deadlift 2 x 4. 1 x 5. 1 x 5. 1 x 4 Push jerk 2 x 6. 1 x 3. 1 x 2 Depth jumps 3x5 Ladder drills 2 6 x 150m 80% intensity 90 seconds of rest Upper body strength & power Bench press 2 x 6. 1 x 5. 1 x 4 Ballistic bench press 7 x 4 (27% max bench) Seated rowing 2 x 6. 1 x 4 Iso ballistic push ups 5x5 Iso bench press 5 x 4 (55% max bench press) Cone drills 2 Development Upper body Strength & power Incline bench press 2 x 4.Phase 1– Block B: Conjugated-sequencing loading . 1 x 2 Ballistic bench press 7 x 4 (27% max bench) Medicine ball throw from chest (10-20lbs) 5x5 Lower body strength & power Front squat 2 x 6. 1 x 5. 1 x 3. 1 x 3. 1 x 3. 1 x 3. 1 x 5. 1 x 2 Lunges 3 x 6/leg Back extension 1-leg 3 x 6/leg Power snatch block 2 x 4. 1 x 5. 1 x 2 Lat pulldown or chin 2 x 4. 1 x 4 Power clean block 2 x 6.Week 7 Block Preparation Monday Shoulder warm-up Shoulder box 2 x 10 Cuban press 2 x 10 Wednesday Javorek Complex Snatch power pull 1 x 6 Clean power pull 1 x 6 Squat press 1 x 6 Good morning 1 x 6 Barbell row 1 x 6 *No rest between exercises Thursday Saturday Shoulder warm-up Shoulder box 2 x 10 Cuban press 2 x 10 Sunday Javorek Complex Snatch power pull 1 x 6 Clean power pull 1 x 6 Squat press 1 x 6 Good morning 1 x 6 Barbell row 1 x 6 *No rest between exercises Speed/Agility Cone drills 1 6 x 100m 85% intensity 60 seconds of rest Ladder drills 1 14 x 20m 100% intensity 30 seconds of rest Lower body strength & power Back squat 2 x 4. 1 x 3. 1 x 3.

1 x 3. 1 x 2. 1 x 1 Push press 1 x 3. 1 x 3. 1 x 2 Power clean block 1 x 5. 1 x 3. 1 x 2. 1 x 2 Ballistic bench press 3 x 3 (32% max bench) Seated rowing 1 x 5. 1 x 1 Lat pulldown or chin 1 x 3. 1 x 1 Lunges 3 x 4/leg Back extension 1-leg 3 x 4/leg Power snatch block 1 x 3. 1 x 2 Push jerk 1 x 5. 1 x 2 Iso ballistic push ups 5x5 Iso bench press 6 x 5 (60% max bench press) Cone drills 2 Development Upper body Strength & power Incline bench press 1 x 3. 1 x 1 Power clean block 1 x 3. 1 x 3. 1 x 1 Romanian deadlift 1 x 3. 1 x 3. 1 x 2. 1 x 2 Power snatch block 1 x 5.Week 8 Block Preparation Monday Shoulder warm-up Shoulder box 2 x 10 Cuban press 2 x 10 Wednesday Javorek Complex Snatch power pull 1 x 6 Clean power pull 1 x 6 Squat press 1 x 6 Good morning 1 x 6 Barbell row 1 x 6 *No rest between exercises Thursday Saturday Shoulder warm-up Shoulder box 2 x 10 Cuban press 2 x 10 Sunday Javorek Complex Snatch power pull 1 x 6 Clean power pull 1 x 6 Squat press 1 x 6 Good morning 1 x 6 Barbell row 1 x 6 *No rest between exercises Speed/Agility Cone drills 1 4 x 100m 85% intensity 60 seconds of rest Ladder drills 1 10 x 20m 100% intensity 30 seconds of rest Lower body strength & power Back squat 1 x 3. 1 x 1 Depth jumps 4x5 Ladder drills 2 4 x 150m 80% intensity 90 seconds of rest Upper body strength & power Bench press 1 x 5. 1 x 3. 1 x 1 Ballistic bench press 3 x 3 (32% max bench) Medicine ball throw from chest (10-20lbs) 6x5 Lower body strength & power Front squat 1 x 5. 1 x 2. 1 x 2.Phase 1– Block B: Conjugated-sequencing loading . 1 x 2 Jump squat 6 x 5 (30% squat max) Jump lunges 6 x 5/leg (12% squat max) Depth jumps 4x5 Optional work DB bench press 3 x 12 Preacher curl 3 x 12 Plate drag 3 x 12 Natural glute-ham raise 3 x 12 Farmer’s walk 7 x 100m walking Stretching routine DB bench press 3 x 12 Preacher curl 3 x 12 Plate drag 3 x 12 Natural glute-ham raise 3 x 12 Farmer’s walk 7 x 50m strutting Stretching routine Conditioning Cool down Stretching routine Stretching routine . 1 x 2. 1 x 2.

Phase 1– Block C: Delayed Transmutation of gains/Sports mastery . 2 x 2 Jump squat 3 x 10 (20% squat max) Depth jumps 3x5 Development Upper body Strength & power Bench press 2 x 3. 2 x 2 Power clean from blocks 2 x 3. 2 x 2 Ballistic bench press 3 x 5 (20% max bench) Optional work DB bench press 3 x 12 Preacher curl 3 x 12 Plate drag 3 x 12 Natural glute-ham raise 3 x 12 Stretching routine DB bench press 3 x 12 Preacher curl 3 x 12 Stretching routine Plate drag 3 x 12 Natural glute-ham raise 3 x 12 Stretching routine Conditioning Cool down Stretching routine .Week 9 Block Preparation Monday Shoulder warm-up Shoulder box 2 x 10 Cuban press 2 x 10 Wednesday Javorek Complex Snatch power pull 1 x 6 Clean power pull 1 x 6 Squat press 1 x 6 Good morning 1 x 6 Barbell row 1 x 6 *No rest between exercises Thursday Saturday Shoulder warm-up Shoulder box 2 x 10 Cuban press 2 x 10 Sunday Javorek Complex Snatch power pull 1 x 6 Clean power pull 1 x 6 Squat press 1 x 6 Good morning 1 x 6 Barbell row 1 x 6 *No rest between exercises Speed/Agility Cone drills 1 10 x 20m 100% intensity 60 seconds of rest Ladder drills 1 6 x 40m 100% intensity 90 seconds of rest Lower body strength & power Back squat 2 x 3. 2 x 2 Seated rowing 3 x 10 Push press 2 x 3. 2 x 2 1-leg back extension 3 x 10 Jump squat 3 x 10 (20% max squat) Depth jumps 3x5 6 x 50m 100% intensity 90 seconds of rest Ladder drills 2 6 x 60m 90% intensity 90 seconds of rest Upper body strength & power Incline bench press 3 x 10 Push jerk 3x6 Ballistic bench press 3 x 5 (20% max bench) Lat pulldown 3 x 10 Cone drills 2 4 x 80m 90% intensity 120 seconds of rest Lower body strength & power Power snatch from blocks 2 x 3.

1 x 1 1 x 3.Phase 1– Block C: Delayed Transmutation of gains/Sports mastery . 1 x 1 1 x 3. 1 x 2. 1 x 1 Seated rowing 3 x 10 Push press 1 x 3. 1 x 1 1 x 3. 1 x 2. 1 x 2. 1 x 1 1-leg back extension 3 x 10 Jump squat 4 x 8 (25% max squat) Depth jumps 4x5 8 x 50m 100% intensity 90 seconds of rest Ladder drills 2 8 x 60m 90% intensity 90 seconds of rest Upper body strength & power Incline bench press 3x8 Push jerk 3x4 Ballistic bench press 4 x 4 (25% max bench) Lat pulldown 3x8 Cone drills 2 6 x 80m 90% intensity 120 seconds of rest Lower body strength & power Power snatch from blocks 1 x 3. 1 x 2. 1 x 1 Power clean from blocks 1 x 3. 1 x 1 1 x 3. 1 x 1 Jump squat 4 x 8 (25% squat max) Depth jumps 4x5 Development Upper body Strength & power Bench press 1 x 3. 1 x 2. 1 x 2. 1 x 2. 1 x 1 Ballistic bench press 4 x 4 (25% max bench) Optional work DB bench press 3 x 12 Preacher curl 3 x 12 Plate drag 3 x 12 Natural glute-ham raise 3 x 12 Stretching routine DB bench press 3 x 12 Preacher curl 3 x 12 Stretching routine Plate drag 3 x 12 Natural glute-ham raise 3 x 12 Stretching routine Conditioning Cool down Stretching routine . 1 x 2. 1 x 1 1 x 3.Week 10 Block Preparation Monday Shoulder warm-up Shoulder box 2 x 10 Cuban press 2 x 10 Wednesday Javorek Complex Snatch power pull 1 x 6 Clean power pull 1 x 6 Squat press 1 x 6 Good morning 1 x 6 Barbell row 1 x 6 *No rest between exercises Thursday Saturday Shoulder warm-up Shoulder box 2 x 10 Cuban press 2 x 10 Sunday Javorek Complex Snatch power pull 1 x 6 Clean power pull 1 x 6 Squat press 1 x 6 Good morning 1 x 6 Barbell row 1 x 6 *No rest between exercises Speed/Agility Cone drills 1 12 x 20m 100% intensity 60 seconds of rest Ladder drills 1 8 x 40m 100% intensity 90 seconds of rest Lower body strength & power Back squat 1 x 3. 1 x 2. 1 x 2.

1 x 2. 1 x 2. 1 x 2. 1 x 2.Week 11 Block Preparation Monday Shoulder warm-up Shoulder box 2 x 10 Cuban press 2 x 10 Wednesday Javorek Complex Snatch power pull 1 x 6 Clean power pull 1 x 6 Squat press 1 x 6 Good morning 1 x 6 Barbell row 1 x 6 *No rest between exercises Thursday Saturday Shoulder warm-up Shoulder box 2 x 10 Cuban press 2 x 10 Sunday Javorek Complex Snatch power pull 1 x 6 Clean power pull 1 x 6 Squat press 1 x 6 Good morning 1 x 6 Barbell row 1 x 6 *No rest between exercises Speed/Agility Cone drills 1 14 x 20m 100% intensity 60 seconds of rest Ladder drills 1 10 x 40m 100% intensity 90 seconds of rest Lower body strength & power Back squat 1 x 2. 1 x 2.Phase 1– Block C: Delayed Transmutation of gains/Sports mastery . 1 x 2. 1 x 1 Ballistic bench press 5 x 3 (30% max bench) Optional work Conditioning Cool down Stretching routine Stretching routine Stretching routine Stretching routine . 1 x 1 1 x 2. 1 x 2. 1 x 1 1 x 2. 1 x 1 1 x 2. 1 x 1 Seated rowing 3 x 10 Push press 1 x 2. 1 x 1 1 x 2. 1 x 2. 1 x 1 Jump squat 5 x 6 (30% squat max) Depth jumps 5x5 Development Upper body Strength & power Bench press 1 x 2. 1 x 1 1-leg back extension 3 x 10 Jump squat 5 x 6 (30% max squat) Depth jumps 5x5 10 x 50m 100% intensity 90 seconds of rest Ladder drills 2 10 x 60m 90% intensity 90 seconds of rest Upper body strength & power Incline bench press 3x6 Push jerk 3x4 Ballistic bench press 5 x 3 (30% max bench) Lat pulldown 3x6 Cone drills 2 8 x 80m 90% intensity 120 seconds of rest Lower body strength & power Power snatch from blocks 1 x 2. 1 x 1 Power clean from blocks 1 x 2. 1 x 2. 1 x 1 1 x 2. 1 x 2.

1 x 1 1-leg back extension 2 x 10 Jump squat 3 x 6 (30% max squat) Depth jumps 3x5 8 x 50m 100% intensity 90 seconds of rest Ladder drills 2 8 x 60m 90% intensity 90 seconds of rest Upper body strength & power Incline bench press 2x4 Push jerk 2x4 Ballistic bench press 3 x 2 (35% max bench) Lat pulldown 2x4 Cone drills 2 6 x 80m 90% intensity 120 seconds of rest Lower body strength & power Power snatch from blocks 1 x 2. 1 x 1 Jump squat 3 x 6 (30% squat max) Depth jumps 3x5 Development Upper body Strength & power Bench press 1 x 2. 1 x 1 Seated rowing 2 x 10 Push press 1 x 2.Phase 1– Block C: Delayed Transmutation of gains/Sports mastery . 1 x 1 Power clean from blocks 1 x 2. 1 x 2. 1 x 2.Week 12 Block Preparation Monday Shoulder warm-up Shoulder box 2 x 10 Cuban press 2 x 10 Wednesday Javorek Complex Snatch power pull 1 x 6 Clean power pull 1 x 6 Squat press 1 x 6 Good morning 1 x 6 Barbell row 1 x 6 *No rest between exercises Thursday Saturday Shoulder warm-up Shoulder box 2 x 10 Cuban press 2 x 10 Sunday Javorek Complex Snatch power pull 1 x 6 Clean power pull 1 x 6 Squat press 1 x 6 Good morning 1 x 6 Barbell row 1 x 6 *No rest between exercises Speed/Agility Cone drills 1 12 x 20m 100% intensity 60 seconds of rest Ladder drills 1 8 x 40m 100% intensity 90 seconds of rest Lower body strength & power Back squat 1 x 2. 1 x 2. 1 x 1 Ballistic bench press 3 x 2 (35% max bench) Optional work Conditioning Cool down Stretching routine Stretching routine Stretching routine Stretching routine . 1 x 2. 1 x 2.

A beginner’s Olympic lifting program .How to correct the most basic mistakes in the power clean .CHAPTER 12 Learning the Olympic lifts In this chapter … .

Well. even if the lifts are easy to learn. I am going to show you the 9 most frequent mistakes made while performing a power clean and exactly how to correct them. at the start. . An athlete. should thus stay with these easier lifts. you must do a lot of perfect reps. the slightest mistake can really slow down your progress and the gains you’ll get from the lifts. Motor learning science suggests that a movement of the complexity of a power clean needs around 500 perfect reps to be automatized. Note that I’m talking about the power clean from the hang and from blocks as they are the variations I recommend you use in your training. It’s understandable though. Not only that. Furthermore. First type of errors: The starting position A house can only be as solid as its foundation! A lot of people focus so much on learning the explosion part of the power clean that they forget to learn the proper starting position. This will prove to be very valuable if you are yourself a coach. the simpler variations of the Olympic lifts (power clean from blocks/from hang and power snatch from blocks/from hang) can be learned very easily and safely. the athlete is perfectly placed.“Clean up that mess: Correcting the 9 most common mistakes in the power clean” There’s this stigma around the Olympic lifts that they are impossible to learn without a coach. Perfect practice makes perfect … practice makes permanent I said it before I’ll say it again. I’m about to make a lot of lucky bastards because I’m going to make an Olympic lifting expert out of you! That’s right. You’ll be even luckier to find one person who is capable enough to teach the lift and correct the mistakes that people make. However. Before correcting anything else you must make sure that. each bad rep increasing that number slightly. practicing a mistake will create a bad habit that is hard to correct. a lot of athletes who’d like to try the lifts simply do not. since the Olympic lifts are skill movements (more complex structure than regular lifts. or simply want to try the Olympic lifts for fun. As a result. That’s why knowing what the most common mistakes and how to correct them will go miles toward making a better athlete or more powerful human being. more timing involved). It is impossible to perform a technically efficient rep from a bad starting position. To become efficient at the Olympic lifts you must practice a lot. or somebody training for himself. they are just as effective as the full Olympic lifts as far as strength and power development is concerned. Go to any gym in the country and you’ll be lucky to see one person perform a power clean.

1. Rounded lower back in the starting position This is a very common mistake. And I find it to be even more widespread among young athletes. There’s something about the chillin’ attitude that makes it hard to get a proper position at the start of the clean.

You’ll notice how the tailbone is turned inwards and the lower back has lost its arch (in fact, it’s even reverse-arched). This will absolutely kill your efforts to be explosive with the legs. It will place a huge toll on your lower back and it will encourage arm pull. It is capital that an athlete learns that the proper position is with the lower back arched and the hips back. For some people it’s hard to get into that position simply because they have a relaxed attitude and never arch their backs. If your athlete cannot take the position by himself, don’t hesitate to place the hips in the proper position for him. Illustrated below is a good starting position.

2. Insufficient leg flexion in the starting position This is also quite common. The legs are almost straight in the starting position and the hips are too high. This prevents any form of explosive lower body action and shifts all the workload to the lower back. As athletes, we want to use the Olympic lifts to develop more powerful legs. Taking them out of the action is thus not very productive.

The knees should be flexed enough so that the legs can do most of the work. In most people that means an angle of 100-120 degrees. Excessive leg bend is not better because it changes the lever arm and makes the lift more difficult. The ideal position has the lifter with bent knees and the shoulders just above the bar (if you bend the knees too much, the bar will be in front of the shoulders). This position places you in the most advantageous pulling position possible. Once again refer to the picture of the correct starting position. 3. Looking down/rounding upper back in the starting position This mistake is frequent especially with rank beginners who lack confidence. When they are not sure about what they have to do they will invariably look down and bundle on themselves. This is a horrendous pulling position! It is impossible to develop a lot of force this way and it’s dangerous for the back.

The athlete must look slightly above his eyes level and keep the upper back tight. I always tell my athletes to take a “beach position”. The chest is out, shoulder blades pulled back and back tight. Obviously you must make the technical corrections, but also consider that if the athlete doesn’t understand the movement he will have a tendency to adopt this starting position. So it’s your duty to make sure the he understands the task at hand. 4. Bent arms in the starting position This is a big no-no. Nothing will cut your power short more than having the arms bent in the starting position. However, understand that it is a natural reaction when an athlete first learns the movement and the load seems excessive to him. Bending the arms is a protective reaction. In the starting position think of your arms as ropes, they are only there to attach the bar to your body.

It is important that you teach your athlete that having the arms bent in the starting position makes it hard to utilize your legs maximally. You will have the tendency to pull with the arms and that is no good. Teach your athlete to let his arms hang down. The explosion comes from the hips and legs, not the arms. Second type of errors: Execution Once the proper starting position is mastered, execution should be facilitated. Nonetheless certain problems may arise. Quite often these are hard to correct if spotted late. Unfortunately, the execution of the movement is fast, so it’s harder to detect any mistakes. That’s why it’s important to keep a keen eye while in the gym! 1. Weak/slow full extension This error has two representations: a) the athlete doesn’t fully extend on the pull b) the extension is slow At the end of the pull you should be able to see a full knee extension, ankle extension and some back extension. Teach your athlete to think “calves and traps.” At the end of the pull he must focus on contracting the traps and calves. Illustrated below is the proper extension during a power clean.

If extension is complete (full knee and ankle extension, some back extension), but too slow the problem is either that the load is too high or that the athlete lacks explosive strength. The solution is quite easy for the first case. For the second it’s a bit more complex and it requires time to correct. Inclusion of jump squats with 10-15% of the squat max will help increase explosion and will lead to a faster pull. But most of all you

Depending on the source of the problem you want to either work on completing the pull (calves and traps) or have the lifter focus on keeping his weight evenly distributed over the whole of each foot.” Feel the calves and traps contracting fully at the end of the pull. a shortened pull can simply be a learned habit. This is like the hook in golf. The athlete will either jump backward or will catch the bar with the shoulders behind the hips. Do not let your athlete do a low acceleration pull. 2. This problem is very often associated with an incomplete extension on the pull or is due to the weight being too far forward (on the toes) during the early portion of the movement. Most of the time this will solve the problem. But for athletic development it is not adequate. Bar is lifted backward This is also easy to spot. 3. it’s the problem of good pullers. The athlete will either jump forward to catch the bar or he will catch it with the shoulders in front of the knees. In fact. A simple key I use is to have the athlete focus on “calves and traps. in the execution of the full Olympic lifts jumping backwards is actually used by Bulgarian lifters (who use more back pull than most other lifters). But much like the previous problem. This type of execution shifts much of the workload onto the lower back and away from the legs. If the extension is incomplete (either knees or ankles do not fully extend) the problem is often a lack of limit strength in the lower body or an unconscious shut down because the athlete feels that the load is too heavy. Bar is lifted forward This mistake can be easily detected. in that case simply emphasize reaching a full extension. .must emphasize acceleration! A lot of athletes pull slowly because they have never been taught to explode.

If you notice a flexion before that. This is a mistake! It greatly reduces acceleration potential and can lead to elbow injuries. When the weight feels heavy in your hands you will have the tendency to pull with the arms first. Here is the correct receiving position for the power clean. To solve the problem have the lifter focus on getting tall during the pull.9 out of 10 cases of backward pulling are caused by excessive lower back extension. The arms should bend at the elbow when the body reaches full extension. Early arm pull This is also quite common. 4. especially as the load gets high. you must correct it! . he must try to stretch his body upwards as much as possible.

If you are practicing the Olympic lifts to develop your power output for sports then you shouldn’t hesitate to jump. If you are yourself learning the lifts these tips will undoubtedly provide you with a lot of ways to make the learning experience faster and more efficient. I was wondering if I had to jump with the bar or if I only had to do a plantar flexion. After discussing this with Christian Thibaudeau. Some people were telling me not to jump with the bar and some others were telling me to jump with it. 5. the easier the lift will be. One of the most common mistakes in the power clean is to use a reverse curl action with the arms.In most cases. and wrists should be in line during the pull. An athlete’s perspective Nicolas Roy is a 60m sprinter and future strength and conditioning expert. Wrist too far in front of the body The closer the bar is to your body. The arm action during a clean is more similar to an upright row than to a reverse curl. The bar is kept close to the body at all times and the shoulders. when I began to learn how to do Olympic lifts I had to deal with a dilemma. elbows. Since he is new to the lifts I decided to let him tell you about his experience learning the power clean from the hang. I realized that it depends on your needs. This can really limit your potential on the clean. this problem has to be solved by relearning the movement focusing on keeping the arms straight. 1 First of all. This means using lighter weights and really emphasizing lower body explosion. Learning trick no. If you are learning the . Once the lifter is solid and consistent you can gradually increase the load.

Learning trick no. 2 Another detail that would help me to increase my power was to begin my lifts from the hang. Learning trick no. you have to accelerate the bar much faster. Cutting my pull short is a mistake that I still sometimes do especially when I’m tired. explode! When you begin the lift. In my case. If you flex your elbows. You will immediately see that the closer a load is to your center of gravity. If the bar is far from your body. you have to use the elastic energy accumulated from the stretch-shortening cycle (SSC) like when you do plyometrics. This motion will help you to finish your lift with your weight on your heels. I was learning the lifts to improve my power output for sports so I learned to jump. In fact. Example: on the fifth rep when my CNS has difficulty recruiting motor units. your muscles have to generate a force greater than the resistance just to equilibrate . This way.Olympic lifts to have the perfect technique for weightlifting then you shouldn’t jump. 4 Keep your arms straight until you go under the bar so you won’t lose the energy generated by your legs. Learning trick no. Be careful not to wait between the flexion and the extension of the knee or else you’re going to lose your elastic energy and the bar won’t go up as well. Why is it more effective then a complete Olympic lift for power development? Because if your starting position is over your knee the bar has to travel a shorter distance before reaching its final position. 5 Don’t hesitate to extend the trunk. 3 When I began to do Olympic lifting I wasn’t using the power of my legs enough. then bring the plate close to your body. giving you less time to impart speed on it. So. With some feedback I learned to flex my knees. it was almost only my back that was lifting the bar. and immediately after to powerfully extend them. so I wasn’t efficient at all. the energy will be absorbed by the deformation of the segment forearm-arm (Chris’ note: very good point and wellexplained). Learning trick no. the less effort the muscles must generate. 6 Keep the bar near your body to improve your mechanical efficiency. To illustrate this principle try to hold a 10lbs plate with your arm fully extended in front of you. When the bar reaches the knees explode immediately! Learning trick no. the bar won’t have a tendency to fall forward because it will be over your center of gravity.

Perfect practice makes perfect! . keep the bar as close as you can to your body. to help your muscles lift the bar. you still have to put in your time actively learning the power clean from the hang. So. Conclusion With this section you should be able to learn and teach the hang clean properly and to correct the basic technical mistakes that impair performance.the lever (and you still have not begun to lift the resistance yet). Learning trick no. Gravity will make the job of keeping the bar on your shoulders harder if it is not properly racked. when you receive the bar. 7 Finally. raise your elbows really high in the rack position so that you won’t have to fight against the bar to keep it elevated. With Nick’s tricks you also have a lot of important pointers to help you or your athletes improve faster. Remember that even if this section gives you the proper tools to learn and correct technique.

there are a few videos that teach technique out there. these exercises are a tremendous way of developing power. Learning how to perform the lifts 2. . they still remain a relatively dark territory for the average trainee. the only available programs and videos on these lifts are designed with the competitive Olympic lifter in mind. and athletic ability. The Olympic lifts are high acceleration and high force exercises. and rightfully so. Learning how to plan an Olympic lifting routine adapted to his needs 3. Developing the necessary flexibility to do the lifts properly The program detailed in this chapter is an introductory phase to the Olympic lifts.“A beginner’s Olympic lifting program” Learn the basic Olympic lifts in 12 weeks The various Olympic lifts have recently received a lot of praise from strength experts all over the world. hamstrings. It is divided into two parts. Most are very good. Oh. quads. glutes. You will start with the easier forms of the Olympic lifts and the movements will get more complex at each new 4-week training phase The first phase of training will develop a lot of specific hypertrophy. However. I’ll first present the warm-up routine you are going to use at the beginning of all the training sessions of the three training phases. even if the Olympic lifts are used more and more by elite sport organizations. The warm-up doesn’t change during the course of the 12-week program. Furthermore. There is nothing out there for the rank beginner who wants to learn the lifts and perform them in his training regimen. The Warm-up This portion of the workout is crucial. The problem might come from the fact that these lifts can be hard to learn. deltoids). the articular preparation and the muscular preparation. So the demands on the body are very high. However. The main focus is to develop the adequate utilizable range of motion to perform the Olympic lifts while introducing you to the concept of explosion by using the simpler forms of the lifts. The warm-up to be used is the same for all the sessions of the week. By that I mean that you will gain lots of muscle mass and lots of strength in the muscles specific to Olympic lifting (traps. It is thus very important that you are well prepared to face each training session. learning the lifts and designing an effective program are two different things! So when an individual wants to start using the lifts he’s faced with three problems: 1. dynamic flexibility. upper and lower back.

Grab the bar with a snatch grip. then rotate to the finished snatch position. You take the bar with a snatch grip (wide grip) and squat down. While in the full squat position you place the bar on your quads and press down. Do this drill for 2 sets of 6 reps with an empty bar. Do all of these exercises in succession. do not rest more than 15 seconds. Snatch stance bar stretch This drill is relatively simple. Try to keep an arched lower back. You only use a bar for these drills.Articular preparation The objective of this part of the workout is to prepare your body to reach the joint positions involved in Olympic lifting. Snatch rotations This drill is relatively similar to the good ole Cuban press. Maintain that position for 30 seconds. upright row it until your arms are parallel to the ground. This portion of the workout includes four exercises. B. A. .

now we’ll see just how supple you really are! This drill seems simple. the bar should not come forward during the movement. Snatch press This drill is a simple behind the neck press with an empty bar. Concentrate on pressing the bar in a straight line upward. By practicing it you will eventually be able to reach the full squat position. Go as low as you can while keeping proper form. Don’t get discouraged. Once again. The shoulders should not move. but it can be discouraging to some strong guys who will have trouble with only the bar! While the bar is held overhead in a finished snatch position. Again. the bar should stay in place and not drift forward and the trunk is kept upright. do 2 sets of 6 reps with an empty bar. A lot of you will have problems going down low in the drill. . D.C. squat down in a straight line. Overhead squat Okay. you perform 2 sets of 6 reps with the empty bar.

You now need to get your muscles in gear! This phase uses the Javorek complex created by weightlifting coach Istvan Javorek. not drive yourself to the ground! This complex will give you a lot of muscle gain and will help you learn the Olympic lifts. Do 6 reps of this exercise. Keep the load low.Muscular preparation By now your joints are ready for the upcoming effort. It is composed of five drills to be executed in a superset. Clean-grip power pull . A. I normally have my athletes start with 30-40kg and adjust the load from there. B. Using your whole body. the objective is to get ready for action. start the bar slightly above the knees. no rest between exercises! Only one superset is performed. bring the bar up to your sternum. Snatch-grip power pull Using a snatch grip. Notice how the bar is kept close to the body and how the body is fully extended.

Also do 6 reps of this exercise. Squat-press This is a hybrid exercise. Use an intermediate grip spacing (between clean and snatch grip). It combines a full back squat with a behind the neck press. C. quickly stand up. Straight-leg Goodmorning . You still want to use your whole body and finish fully extended.This drill is exactly like the snatch-grip power pull except that you use a narrower clean grip. Squat down. D. Do 6 reps of this movement. and use the momentum to help you press the bar overhead.

Main workouts This section includes the exercise prescription for the whole training month. Each training day will be described individually and all of the exercises will be explained and illustrated. Do 6 reps of this last drill. Place the bar on the ground and bring it up to your abs.Stand upright like you would at the beginning of a back squat. The back should remain flat during the whole movement and the head should be in line with the spine (not looking forward which would hyperextend the neck). as they will be a part of all your workouts for the next 12 weeks. bend the trunk forward and bring the hips backward. Besides being a very thorough and specific warm-up routine. While keeping the legs straight. Barbell rowing This is the last exercise of the complex. it will improve your dynamic flexibility and help you learn the proper form for the Olympic lifts faster. . E. Do 6 reps of this exercise. Learn to master all of these warm-up drills. use an intermediate grip.

To strengthen the muscles involved in the snatch 3. Power snatch from blocks The power snatch from blocks is one of my favorite exercises to teach an athlete how to explode. Pull: 1. Since the bar is placed on blocks in the starting position (slightly above the knees) the movement becomes easier technically (so you can focus on exploding) and the acceleration path is short (so you must explode to complete the lift). To increase dynamic flexibility in the specific snatch positions A. 2. toes are turned slightly outward Legs are flexed at the knees slightly (around 130-140 degrees) Trunk is flexed. 3.First phase of training: Introduction (4 weeks) Monday (Snatch emphasis) Objectives: 1. To learn and master the explosion phase of the snatch 2. back and legs extended) Feet are hip width. 4. back is tightly arched Shoulders are in front of the bar Arms are straight Traps are stretched Head is looking forward . Starting position: 1. 7. Explode upward with a powerful leg and back extension The bar should be kept close to the body at all times The traps contract forcefully to further accelerate the bar Basically. 6. 4. Lifting from the blocks also has the advantage of placing your body in the optimal pulling position. 5. what we are looking for is for the body to look like a bow (hips forward. 3. 2.

Catch: 1. it would be pretty pointless to use percentages to plan your training load! Simply remember that sets of 5 are light. loading will follow! B. sets of 4 slightly heavier and sets of 3 are moderate weight. Keep the traps tight to help hold the bar The loading parameters for the power snatch from blocks are as follows: Week 1: 1 x 5. Catch the bar with the arms locked. Catch the bar with a slight knee flexion (do not catch it with straight legs. 1 x 5 Week 2: 1 x 5. It strengthens the muscles involved in the snatch and teaches proper positioning for the lift. which can be helpful while the lifter is focusing on lifts from blocks. . learn to squat under it) 2. We do not want to use big weights during this phase. 1 x 5. 1 x 3. 1 x 4. It is not specific to the snatch in the sense that it is a slower movement. Snatch-grip deadlift The snatch-grip deadlift is useful when a trainee is learning the Olympic lifts. 1 x 4. However. 1 x 3. 1 x 3. 1 x 5. 1 x 3 Week 4: 3 x 3 Note: You may have noticed that I did not give a percentage or load to use. it does increase strength in the starting position of the snatch. do not press the weight 3. since most of you have never performed a power snatch before. 1 x 4 Week 3: 1 x 5. 1 x 4. Focus on learning the proper technique and explosion. 1 x 4. Well.

Starting position: 1. 2. 3. The lift is completed when you are standing up completely The loading parameters for the snatch-grip deadlift are as follows: Week 1: 1 x 5. For the sets of 4 you add a little weight and the sets of 3 can be fairly heavy if you are able to maintain the proper pulling sequence and back position. 1 x 4. I give no specific percentage. 8. 5. 1 x 4. Overhead squat Feet are hip width. back is tightly arched Shoulders are in front of the bar Arms are straight Traps are stretched Head is looking forward and down . Back stays tight 6. do not sacrifice form for weight. 1 x 5 Week 2: 1 x 5. The arms stay long and keep the bar close to the body 4. 7. 1 x 5. You should not go too heavy on this drill. 6. back angle remains the same 2. This is not a competition deadlift. 1 x 4 Week 3: 1 x 5. toes are turned slightly outward The grip is wide (approximately twice shoulder width) Legs are flexed at the knees slightly (around 100-110 degrees) Trunk is flexed. 1 x 3. The back stays tight and arched 3. From the ground up to the knees the bar is lifted via a knee extension. The arms stay long 7. You’re much better off trying to lift the weight faster than increasing the load. 1 x 4. Pull: 1. 4. The objective is to learn the proper pulling sequence in the snatch (knee extension followed by a combined knee and lower back extension) and develop the capacity to maintain a tight back during the whole movement. 1 x 5. C. 1 x 3. Although a good starting point is 50% of your regular deadlift or full squat maximum. 5. 1 x 3. 1 x 4. 1 x 3 Week 4: 3 x 3 Once again. From the knees up to the standing position the bar is lifted with a combined back extension and knee extension.

do not let the bar drift forward. The bar should be kept above the ears during the whole movement. 3. When you reach the lowest position. At the end of the month you should be using the same load (or more) for the overhead squat as in the power snatch from blocks. few will be able to do this from the get go. Start to squat down. your trunk. Some people will have trouble going lower than a ¼ squat without starting to bend forward or have their heels come off the ground. knee. Starting position: 1. Stand up in the finished snatch position Feet are slightly wider than the hips. Avoid trunk flexion. trying to “push out” (like if you were trying to rip the bar apart) will help you keep your shoulders and arms tight. shoulders. until you feel comfortable in the movement. the body should go down in a straight line 2. use just the bar if you need to. Only go as low as you can while maintaining proper form. It is fantastic for increasing the level of dynamic flexibility in the hip. and ankle joints. Your upper body must become one single piece. you want to be able to do your sets of 5 with the same load you used on the power snatch from blocks. Start light. The loading parameters for the overhead squat are as follows: Week 1: 4 x 5 Week 2: 3 x 5 Week 3: 2 x 5 Week 4: 4 x 5 Ideally. avoid excessive trunk movement Note: Some people will have flexibility problems at first. As you squat down try pushing the bar up (to contract the traps and stabilize the bar) 4. try to go down a bit more. The heels must stay on the ground 5. 4. . upper back. 2. However. However. traps are contracted Arms are solid. if you start bending forward you will lose the bar 3. at each workout. and traps should be tight to hold the bar in place. Squat: 1. and really teaches you how to use your whole body at the same time! To properly execute this drill your lower body must remain loose and flexible and you must use your upper body muscles to “brace” the position. stand up in a straight line.This is a great exercise for any athlete and it’s capital to the beginning Olympic lifter. toes turned outward a bit Trunk is solid.

Loading is not all that important as you will feel this exercise even at low to moderate weights. Stretch your traps by brining your shoulders down. Keep the arms locked and the bar overhead 3.D. Starting position: 1. Hold the bar overhead (intermediate grip) as if you had just completed a shoulder press 2. On top of being a great trap builder. The trunk must be tight Shrug: 1. the shoulders must go up in a straight line 2. bring the shoulders up by contracting the traps. While keeping a tight posture. Overhead shrugs The overhead shrugs are an exceptional trap builder and a great way to increase your capacity to hold loads at arms length. . Hold the highest position for 2 seconds The loading parameters for the overhead shrug are as follows: Week 1: 4 x 5 Week 2: 3 x 5 Week 3: 2 x 5 Week 4: 4 x 5 Start with a load you can comfortably press over your head. this exercise is fantastic for developing the capacity to stabilize the trunk under loading conditions.

Contract the traps and arms Rotation: 1. pointing outward and up 2. look forward Shrug: 1. a dumbbell in each hand. Hold that position for 2 seconds The loading parameters for the snatch Cuban press are as follows: Week 1: 2 x 15 Week 2: 2 x 15 Week 3: 1 x 15 Week 4: 2 x 15 . Using this exercise is a great insurance policy for your shoulders! Starting position: 1. It will increase strength in all of the deltoids’ heads and also develop your rotator cuff muscles. Snatch Cuban press This exercise is a very effective shoulder builder. arms at your sides 2. Keep a good posture.E. Stand up. Rotate your shoulders so that your arms end up overhead. The initial lift of the dumbbells is a semi upright row 2.

To increase dynamic flexibility in the specific jerk positions A. To learn and master the explosion phase of the jerk 2.Tuesday (Jerk emphasis) Objectives: 1. This is an absolutely formidable whole body strengthening exercise! It really teaches how to synchronize lower body and upper body explosion into one big powerful action. Push jerk The push jerk is another of my favorite exercises. . To strengthen the muscles involved in the jerk 3.

Lower your body in a straight line (imagine that your back is sliding on a wall) 2. 1 x 5. 1 x 3. A weight equivalent to what you use on the shoulder press is adequate at first. 1 x 5. no more The explosion: 1. 4. 3. 1 x 3. but not too slow 3. 1 x 4. 1 x 4. Take the bar from the rack Place it on your clavicle and shoulders The bar is held with a clean grip or an intermediate grip Hold the bar with the full hand. catch the bar with a slight squat under the bar 2. 1 x 4 Week 3: 1 x 5. 5. 1 x 4. 1 x 5 Week 2: 1 x 5.Starting position: 1. The dip is controlled. not just the fingertips The elbows are pointed forward and down. 1 x 4. As you begin to feel more comfortable with the movement you can increase the load (as long as proper technique and explosion are maintained). 1 x 3 Week 4: 3 x 3 Start conservatively until you learn to use a synchronized explosive action of the lower and upper body. Much like in the power snatch from blocks. 1 x 3. not just down The body is straight and tight . You dip into a quarter squat. The dip: 1. When you complete the dip quickly reverse your movement and explode upward! 2. The arms are immediately locked (you receive the bar with locked arms. You should go for a very hard push with the legs (so that the bar will leave your shoulders at the top) 3. The trunk remains tight 3. Just as you reach the upright position. no pressing of the weight) The loading parameters for the push jerk are: Week 1: 1 x 5. press your hands up as fast as possible 4. 2. not press it The catch: 1. 6. Try to “throw” the bar upwards.

It is an unparalleled shoulder builder and it will help with the initial arm drive during the jerk.B. much like in the starting position of the back squat . Starting position: 1. Bradford press The Bradford press takes its name after former American lifting champion Jim Bradford. The bar is held on the traps with an intermediate grip.

5 back) You can go relatively heavy on this movement. 5 back) Week 3: 2 x 5 (5 front. C. Loaded jump squat .Execution: 1. using the arms only 2. using the arms only 4. Bring the bar over your head and onto the back of your shoulders The loading parameters for the Bradford press are: Week 1: 4 x 5 (5 front. Bring the bar over your head and onto the front of your shoulders 3. 5 back) Week 4: 4 x 5 (5 front. Start with a load you would normally use on the military press and go from there. Press the bar until it’s just above the head. Use a weight as heavy as you can without cheating with your legs. 5 back) Week 2: 3 x 5 (5 front. Press the bar until it’s just above the head.

It is also a great way to increase vertical jumping ability. Starting position: 1. A box (50-70cm) is placed about a foot away from your feet Execution: 1. Jump onto the box Note: You don’t have to use a box. Because of the lighter load you will be able to impart more acceleration to the bar and thus develop a different portion of the force-velocity curve.This exercise really helps develop the powerful leg drive involved in the jerk! It is also a very effective way to develop vertical jumping ability. Some very explosive individuals can use are much as 20% of their best back squat. However. Individuals with very low back squats can start with around 65lbs on this exercise. 2. using an elevated box will decrease the stress on your back and knees (because there will be less kinetic energy built-up during the descent). except that the load is minimal. . D. The loading parameters for the loaded jump squat are: Week 1: 3 x 5 Week 2: 4 x 5 Week 3: 5 x 5 Week 4: 2 x 5 The load to use is approximately 15% of your best back squat. Standing up with the bar on the bar of your shoulders. Dip into a quarter squat and explode upward 2. you can simply jump up and land on the ground. Bar jump squat This exercise is much like the preceding one.

To learn and master the explosion phase of the clean 2. Power clean from blocks .Starting position: 1. Execution: 1. not the weight used. The aim is to increase jump height. To increase dynamic flexibility in the specific clean positions A. Standing up with the bar on the back of your shoulders. flex your knees to absorb the shock The loading parameters for the bar jump squat are: Week 1: 4 x 6 Week 2: 3 x 6 Week 3: 2 x 6 Week 4: 4 x 6 The following loads are appropriate: 500lbs+ squat: 55lbs 300-500lbs squat: 45lbs (bar only) 200-300lbs squat: 35lbs (smaller bar) 100-200lbs squat: 25lbs (still smaller bar) The load is kept constant during the whole cycle. Land on the ground. Thursday (clean emphasis) Objectives: 1. Dip into a quarter squat and explode upward 2. To strengthen the muscles involved in the clean 3.

6. 1 x 4. 7. 1 x 3. back is tightly arched Shoulders are in front of the bar Arms are straight Traps are stretched Head is looking forward . 1 x 3. Pull: 1. 4. 3. since most of you have never performed a power clean before. Catch: 1. back and legs extended) Feet are hip width. 1 x 4 Week 3: 1 x 5. 1 x 5. toes are turned slightly outward Legs are flexed at the knees slightly (around 140-150 degrees) Trunk is flexed. 1 x 3 Week 4: 3 x 3 Note: You may have noticed that I did not give a percentage or load to use. 1 x 5.Yes! Here’s one of the bread and butter lifts for all athletes! The power clean from blocks is almost untouched when it comes to increasing pulling power. Since the bar is placed on blocks in the starting position (slightly above the knees) the movement becomes easier technically (so you can focus on exploding) and the acceleration path is short (so you must explode to complete the lift). 3. 1 x 4. 1 x 4. 1 x 3. focus on learning the proper technique and explosion. what we are looking for is for the body to look like a bow (hips forward. 2. 5. it would be pretty pointless to use percentages to plan your training load! Simply remember that sets of 5 are light. Catch the bar with a slight knee flexion (do not catch it with straight legs. loading will follow! Explode upward with a powerful leg and back extension The bar should be kept close to the body at all times The traps contract forcefully to further accelerate the bar Basically. learn to squat under it) 2. Lifting from the blocks also has the advantage of placing your body in the optimal pulling position. We do not want to use big weights during this phase. and sets of 3 are moderate weight. 1 x 5 Week 2: 1 x 5. Well. Catch the bar on your shoulders and whip your arms around so that the elbows are pointing forward. 1 x 4. 4. sets of 4 slightly heavier. not down The loading parameters for the power clean from blocks are as follows: Week 1: 1 x 5. Starting position: 1. 2.

The arms stay long and keep the bar close to the body 4. From the ground up to the knees the bar is lifted via a knee extension. 6. 3. The lift is completed when you are standing up completely Feet are hip width. Pull: 1.B. From the knees up to the standing position. which can be helpful while the lifter is focusing on lifts from blocks. Starting position: 1. The arms stay long 7. Remember that this is not a powerlifting deadlift. The back stays tight and arched 3. toes are turned slightly outward The grip is narrow (approximately shoulder width) Legs are flexed at the knees slightly (around 110-120 degrees) Trunk is flexed. back is tightly arched Shoulders are in front of the bar Arms are straight. 5. back angle remains the same 2. 2. Back stays tight 6. However. 4. it does increase strength in the starting position. traps are stretched Head is looking forward and down . but to use the same pulling technique and sequence as during a clean. It strengthens the muscles involved in the clean and teaches proper positioning for this lift. The objective is not to max out on the lift. the bar is lifted with a combined back extension and knee extension. 7. Clean-grip deadlift The clean-grip deadlift is useful when a trainee is learning the Olympic lifts. 5. It is not specific to the clean in the sense that it is a slower movement.

Keep the legs straight Pull: 1. 1 x 4. 1 x 3 Week 4: 3 x 3 Once again I’ll say that the goal is not to lift as much as possible. 1 x 5 Week 2: 1 x 5. 1 x 4 Week 3: 1 x 5. Muscle clean This exercise is not so much for the development of the clean technique as its very different from a clean. forearms. It does serve one technical objective. holding the bar with a clean grip 2. Keep the elbows high and the bar close to your body . C. and traps. Starting position: 1. 1 x 4. 1 x 4. but to use proper Olympic lifting technique. All of which are included in the clean. Execute an upright row 2. you should still try to increase your training load each week. 1 x 4. it helps you learn the value of keeping the bar close to your body. 1 x 3. 1 x 3. That having been said. it serves its purpose as a general strengthening exercise for the shoulders. Stand upright. 1 x 5.The loading parameters for the snatch-grip deadlift are as follows: Week 1: 1 x 5. 1 x 3. 1 x 5. However.

Dumbbell bench press This exercise will increase your triceps and shoulder strength. Bending the back backwards and using your legs in the pull are considered cheating. You can use as much weight as you can. so exercises with a greater range of motion should be prioritized. Once that the bar reaches its highest point in the upright row. . General strengthening of the muscles involved in the Olympic lifts A. I prefer to use dumbbells over a barbell because the range of motion is greater. as long as you can complete the lift without cheating. In Olympic lifting you need good joint mobility.Catch: 1. I trust that you already know how to perform this movement as it’s fairly common in most gyms. Friday (Remedial exercises) Objective: 1. squat down under it to complete the lift The loading parameters for the muscle clean are: Week 1: 4 x 5 Week 2: 3 x 5 Week 3: 2 x 5 Week 4: 4 x 5 You don’t need a lot of weight to make this exercise difficult! Start with the weight you can upright row in good form for 5-8 reps and adjust the load from there. which is very useful while holding heavy jerks or snatches. so I won’t go into more detail about proper form.

B. as it’s a fixture in most gyms. Once again. the military press is also a great way to develop the stabilizing capacities of the trunk muscles. Like other overhead lifts. but do not cut your range of motion short. Military press The military press is another great triceps and shoulder strengthening exercise. The loading parameters for the military press are: Week 1: 3 x 5 Week 2: 4 x 5 Week 3: 5 x 5 Week 4: 2 x 3 . Try to get a good pectoral stretch in the bottom position. A proper military press is executed with straight legs and no cheating to get the bar up.The loading parameters for the dumbbell press are: Week 1: 3 x 5 Week 2: 4 x 5 Week 3: 5 x 5 Week 4: 2 x 5 Use heavy weights for this exercise. no need to describe this exercise in detail. This will help you improve shoulder mobility for the snatch and jerk.

Beware though. Reverse curl I’m personally not a big fan of biceps exercises. which are useful for the weightlifter. Full back squat . but the reverse curl has some value because it’s a great way to strengthen the forearms and gripping strength.C. do not use a reverse curl motion during your cleaning exercises! The loading parameters for the military press are: Week 1: 4 x 5 Week 2: 3 x 5 Week 3: 2 x 5 Week 4: 4 x 5 D.

It is the best way to increase leg and glute strength. 4.The back squat is probably the best assistance exercise for the Olympic lifts. not your back The loading parameters for the full back squat are: Week 1: 3 x 5 Week 2: 4 x 5 Week 3: 5 x 5 Week 4: 2 x 3 You can try to lift big weights in the back squat but you must do so while maintaining proper form and going low. Avoid bending forward. 3. Stand up: 1. 2. To learn the full snatch sequence 2. bar on the lower portion of the traps (intermediate grip) 2. There is no sissy quarter or half squatting in Olympic lifting! Squat down under control Keep the trunk upright during the whole movement Keep the upper back and lower back tight Go as low as possible while maintaining proper form Second phase of training: technical learning (4 weeks) Monday (Snatch emphasis) Objectives: 1. Stand up. immediately stand up 2. The feet are shoulder width and pointing slightly outward 3. use your legs to stand up. Starting position: 1. Do not pause in the bottom position. Try to accelerate the bar as you are standing up 3. When properly performed it’s also very effective as a lower body flexibility exercise and a trunk stabilization powerhouse! I always advocate going as low as possible as long as the heels can be kept on the ground and the lower back stays arched. To increase dynamic flexibility in the specific snatch positions . To strengthen the muscles involved in the snatch 3. The chest is out and the head is looking forward Squat down: 1.

Trunk is flexed. The bar should be kept close to the body at all times 4.A. Catch the bar with the arms locked. the back angle stays the same. Basically. what we are looking for is for the body to look like a bow (hips forward. Shoulders are in front of the bar 5. to get used to dropping under the bar. You start to integrate the first hard technical part of the lift. Arms are straight 6. Feet are hip width. explode upward with a powerful leg and back extension 3. Legs are flexed at the knees (around 90-100 degrees) 3. The traps contract forcefully to further accelerate the bar 5. the switch from below the knees (slow controlled pull) to above the knees (explosion). back and legs extended) Catch: 1. Catch the bar in a half squat position 2. Half-squat snatch from the floor This is the first step in learning the full competitive snatch. back is tightly arched 4. the bar is lifted only via leg extension. Once the bar is above the knees. Keep the traps tight to help hold the bar . Traps are stretched 7. Starting position: 1. toes are turned slightly outward 2. You will catch the bar into a half squat. 2. From the ground to the knees the lifting is controlled. Head is looking forward Pull: 1. do not press the weight 3.

3 x 3. since most of you have never performed a snatch before. 1 x 2. 2 x 3 Week 2: 3 x 4. it would be pretty pointless to use percentages to plan your training load! But after the first phase of training you should have a good idea of the weight you can handle. Concentrate on rising up on the toes and contracting the traps at the same time. 1 x 1 Week 4: 3 x 3 . Ideally. 1 x 3. 1 x 1. you want to use the exact same pulling motion as during the half-squat snatch. Start with a load equivalent to what you used on the power snatch from the blocks. 1 x 2. 1 x 1 Week 4: 3 x 3 Note: You may have noticed that I did not give a percentage or load to use. 1 x 2 Week 3: 1 x 3. 1 x 2 Week 3: 1 x 3. The loading parameters for the snatch pull are as follows: Week 1: 2 x 4. 1 x 1. 3 x 3. Snatch pull The snatch pull is the logical progression from the snatch-grip deadlift. B. 1 x 2. 1 x 3. 1 x 2. Well.The loading parameters for the half-squat snatch from the floor are as follows: Week 1: 2 x 4. 2 x 3 Week 2: 3 x 4.

Many people make the mistake of going way too heavy on pulls. The heels must stay on the ground 5. try pushing the bar up (to contract the traps and stabilize the bar) 4. When you reach the lowest position stand up in a straight line. Feet are slightly wider than the hips. there will be no positive transfer. Elbows are pointing down. As you squat down. Starting position: 1.Ideally. Trunk is solid. try not to allow the bar to drop a lot. Avoid trunk flexion. You must drop directly under the bar. C. but it also teaches the lifter how to drop under the bar. the drop snatch is the progression from overhead squats. Drop snatch Just like the snatch pull is the progression from snatch-grip deadlifts. Stand up with the bar on your shoulders with a snatch grip 2. You must go down very fast to beat the gravity that will pull the bar down 2. The key is to lock the arms as you go down. If you start bending forward you will lose the bar 3. avoid excessive trunk movement . at the most 10% above what you used in that exercise. Drop: 1. you want to use the exact same load you used on the half-squat snatch. back is tight 4. toes turned outward a bit 3. If the load is significantly greater than during a snatch. This drill has the same benefits as the overhead squat.

It is a good exercise to build the strength of the traps. but everybody needs a challenge! D. Hopefully by now you have the proper flexibility to do an overhead squat. it is a good teaching tool to learn the full squat snatch. Plus. and a good objective is to be able to use the same load on the dropsnatch as you did for the overhead squat. 1 x 2 Week 4: 3 x 5 At first this drill is going to be very hard as you are not used to dropping under the bar. So you may want to start very light. The drill is performed much like a regular half-squat snatch except that you lift the bar slowly. After that it became a widely used exercise by Soviet superheavy lifters. Not an easy task. arms.The loading parameters for the drop snatch are as follows: Week 1: 2 x 5 Week 2: 5 x 5 Week 3: 3 x 3. Slow-speed snatch This exercise was a staple in Alexeyev’s training program. under control and once it reaches the sternum you quickly drop under the bar (much like in a drop-snatch). . and shoulders.

A good starting point is half of what you used for the half-squat snatch. Tuesday (Jerk emphasis) Objectives: 1. The only difference is that once you jerk the bar off your shoulders you drop under the bar while doing a split (one leg forward.The loading parameters for the slow-speed snatch are as follows: Week 1: 3 x 3 Week 2: 5 x 3 Week 3: 2 x 3. one leg backward). To learn the split jerk 2. To increase dynamic flexibility in the specific jerk positions A. To strengthen the muscles involved in the jerk 3. which I already covered. Split jerk The split jerk is basically the same as the push jerk. Concentrate on a slow pull and a fast drop under the bar. . 2 x 2 Week 4: 2 x 3 The load is really not all that relevant for this exercise.

However. 1 x 2 Week 3: 1 x 3. Hold the bar with the full hand. 1 x 2. Just as you reach the upright position. You dip into a quarter squat. Place it on your clavicle and shoulders 3. no more The explosion: 1. You catch the bar with one leg split forward and one leg back. 1 x 2. Try to “throw” the bar upwards. . The trunk remains tight 5. The arms are immediately locked (you receive the bar with locked arms. press your hands up as fast as possible 4.Starting position: 1. 3 x 3. 2 x 3 Week 2: 3 x 4. 1 x 1. When you complete the dip quickly reverse your movement and explode upward! 2. 1 x 1 Week 4: 3 x 3 At first use the same load you used on the push jerk. The body is straight and tight The dip: 1. Lower your body in a straight line (imagine that your back is sliding on a wall) 2. but not too slow 3. not press it The catch: 1. 1 x 3. You should go for a very hard push with the legs (so that the bar will leave your shoulders at the top) 3. not just the fingertips 5. The dip is controlled. no pressing of the weight) The loading parameters for the split jerk are: Week 1: 2 x 4. 4. The bar is held with a clean grip or an intermediate grip 4. as you become better at the split style you should be able to handle slightly heavier loads than in a push jerk. The elbows are pointed forward and down. Experiment to see which leg forward feels more comfortable. not just down 6. Take the bar from the rack 2.

The loading parameters for the push press are: Week 1: 2 x 5 Week 2: 5 x 5 Week 3: 3 x 3.B. 1 x 2 Week 4: 2 x 3 You can go relatively heavy on this movement. in which the legs do most of the work. This is different than the push jerk. Use a weight as heavy as you can with only a slight leg drive (do not turn it into a push jerk). Start with a load you would normally use on the military press and go from there. Push press The push press is best described as a “cheated” military press. You use a slight leg drive to get the bar started off the shoulders. . but the arms still do most of the work.

by practicing the ¼ front squat you will get used to holding weights way heavier than you can jerk. I recommend doing this drill in the power rack with the bar starting at the same height as the end of the dipping phase in your jerk. ¼ Front squat The objective of this drill is to strengthen the leg muscles as well as to get you used to holding a big weight on your shoulders in preparation for a jerk. A lot of times a jerk is missed because the load feels heavy and the athlete gives up. Be careful to keep your torso straight in this movement. . This has a very important psychological impact on your lifting. we want to emulate a jerk motion as much as possible. 1 x 2 Week 4: 2 x 3 Since this is a limited range of motion exercise you will be able to use a lot of weight on this drill. Well.C. The loading parameters for the ¼ front squat are: Week 1: 2 x 5 Week 2: 5 x 5 Week 3: 3 x 3. I suggest starting with your back squat max and adjusting the load from there.

Standing up with the bar on the back of your shoulders. Bar jump squat This exercise is much like the preceding one. Because of the lighter load you will be able to impart more acceleration to the bar and thus develop a different portion of the force-velocity curve. Dip into a quarter squat and explode upward 3. not the weight used. The aim is to increase jumping height.D. flex your knees to absorb the shock The loading parameters for the bar jump squat are: Week 1: 2 x 10 Week 2: 5 x 10 Week 3: 3 x 6 Week 4: 2 x 6 The following loads are appropriate: 500lbs+ squat: 55lbs 300-500lbs squat: 45lbs (bar only) 200-300lbs squat: 35lbs (smaller bar) 100-200lbs squat: 25lbs (still smaller bar) The load is kept constant during the whole cycle. Land on the ground. . Starting position: 1. except that the load is minimal. It is also a great way to increase vertical jumping ability. Execution: 2.

Half-squat clean from the floor This is much like the half-squat snatch in that it uses the same lifting sequence as during a competitive full squat clean. Starting position: 1. 2. To learn the proper clean sequence 2. toes are turned slightly outward 2. Arms are straight 6. From the ground to the knees lift the bar under control while keeping a stable torso angle. Head is looking forward Pull: 1.Thursday (clean emphasis) Objectives: 1. The bar should be kept close to the body at all times 4. then. To increase dynamic flexibility in the specific clean positions A. back is tightly arched 4. Traps are stretched 7. Once again. The traps contract forcefully to further accelerate the bar . you lift the load under control up to the knees. explode! Catch the bar in a half-squat to get used to going under the bar. Feet are hip width. Trunk is flexed. To strengthen the muscles involved in the clean 3. Shoulders are in front of the bar 5. At the knees explode upward with a powerful leg and back extension 3. Legs are flexed at the knees slightly (around 100-120 degrees) 3.

Catch the bar in a half-squat 2. Well. since most of you have never performed a clean before. Clean pull The clean pull is the logical progression from the clean-grip deadlift. 1 x 2. 1 x 2. 1 x 3. Catch the bar on your shoulders and whip your arms around so that the elbows are pointing forward. 3 x 3. it would be pretty pointless to use percentages to plan your training load! But after the first phase of training you should have a good idea of the weight you can handle. 1 x 3. you want to use the exact same pulling motion as during the half-squat snatch. not down The loading parameters for the half-squat clean from the floor are as follows: Week 1: 2 x 4. 3 x 3.Catch: 1. Concentrate on rising up on the toes and contracting the traps at the same time. Start with a load equivalent to what you used on the power clean from the blocks B. 1 x 1 Week 4: 3 x 3 . Ideally. 1 x 1. 1 x 1. The loading parameters for the snatch pull are as follows: Week 1: 2 x 4. 1 x 2. 1 x 2. 1 x 1 Week 4: 3 x 3 Note: You may have noticed that I did not give a percentage or load to use. 2 x 3 Week 2: 3 x 4. 2 x 3 Week 2: 3 x 4. 1 x 2 Week 3: 1 x 3. 1 x 2 Week 3: 1 x 3.

The knees only bend slightly more than in the starting position. Head is looking forward. the back becomes parallel to the ground and the hips are brought back. Back is tightly arched. traps are stretched. Start position: Feet are hip width. standing fully upright. Shoulders are back (beach position). Back stays tight. The arms stay long. 1 x 2 Week 4: 2 x 3 . Romanian deadlift The biggest difference between a Romanian deadlift and other deadlifts is that the starting position is the other deadlifts’ completed position. Legs are very slightly bent and the torso is fully extended. The arms stay long. Back stays tight. Arms are straight. The lift is completed when you are standing up completely. The grip is narrow (approximately shoulder width). The loading parameters for the Romanian deadlift are: Week 1: 2 x 5 Week 2: 5 x 5 Week 3: 3 x 3. mostly through trunk extension with a slight extension of the knees. toes are pointing straight forward. Pull: Bring the bar back up in the reverse of the way you lowered it. Lowering: Lower the bar until it’s 2-3” below the knees. From that position you will lower the bar with a knee flexion and trunk flexion then bring it back up for a complete rep.C.

Feet are hip width. Head is looking forward. traps are stretched. For competitive powerlifters this can really help develop a strong lock out. ½ deadlift This consists of a partial deadlift with the bar starting at. Arms are straight. or slightly above. 1 x 2 Week 4: 2 x 3 . which will do wonders for your dynamic lower back strength and isometric trap and back strength. The lift is completed when you are standing up completely. Start position: The bar is set on pins (or blocks) so that it’s at knee level.D. back is tightly arched. Shoulders are in front of the bar. You can use really heavy weights for this exercise. toes are turned slightly outward. or slightly above the knees. Trunk is flexed. Pull: From the pins up to the standing position the bar is lifted with a combined back extension and knee extension. Back stays tight. The arms stay long. Legs are slightly bent. The loading parameters for the 1/2 deadlift are: Week 1: 2 x 5 Week 2: 5 x 5 Week 3: 3 x 3. The grip is narrow (approximately shoulder width).

so I won’t go into more details about proper form. Touch the chest and explode upwards! . 1 x 2 Week 4: 3 x 3 Use heavy weights for this exercise. The loading parameters for the bench press are: Week 1: 2 x 5 Week 2: 5 x 5 Week 3: 3 x 3. but do not cut your range of motion short. which is very useful while holding heavy jerks or snatches. Bench press This exercise will increase your triceps and shoulder strength.Friday (Remedial exercises) Objective: 1. General strengthening of the muscles involved in the Olympic lifts A. I trust that you already know how to perform this movement as it’s fairly common in most gyms.

as it’s a fixture in most gyms. Military press The military press is another great triceps and shoulder strengthening exercise.B. Like other overhead lifts. Zottman curl . A proper military press is executed with straight legs and no cheating to get the bar up. the military press is also a great way to develop the stabilizing capacities of the trunk muscles. no need to describe this exercise in detail. Once again. The loading parameters for the military press are: Week 1: 2 x 5 Week 2: 5 x 5 Week 3: 3 x 5 Week 4: 2 x 3 C.

I always advocate going as low as possible as long as the heels can be kept on the ground and the lower back stays arched. Go as low as possible while maintaining proper form .You curl the weight with the palms up and lower it with the palms down. Keep the trunk upright during the whole movement 3. The feet are shoulder width and pointing slightly outward 3. the fact is that a chain will always break at its weakest link. Stand up. bar on the clavicle. Squat down under control 2. The chest is out and the head is looking forward Squat down: 1. This drill will strengthen all of the arm flexor muscles. making the muscle work hard on both the concentric and eccentric portion of the movement. Front squat The front squat is a fantastic quad and glute builder. elbows are high 2. It also has the added benefit of preparing you to catch a full squat clean. Although not of capital importance in Olympic lifting. Keep the upper back and lower back tight 4. Starting position: 1. The loading parameters for the Zottman curl are: Week 1: 2 x 5 Week 2: 5 x 5 Week 3: 3 x 5 Week 4: 2 x 5 D.

To strengthen the muscles involved in the snatch 3. 1 x 2 Week 4: 3 x 3 You can try to lift big weights in the front squat. Try to accelerate the bar as you are standing up 3. Third phase of training: technical mastery (4 weeks) Monday (Snatch emphasis) Objectives: 1. immediately stand up 2. not your back The loading parameters for the front squat are: Week 1: 2 x 5 Week 2: 5 x 5 Week 3: 3 x 3. Do not pause in the bottom position. To learn the full snatch sequence 2. To develop an efficient lifting technique A. but you must do so while maintaining proper form and going low. use your legs to stand up. Half-squat snatch from the floor .Stand up: 1. Avoid bending forward. This will give you a lot of confidence for when you are ready to do full squat cleans.

to get used to dropping under the bar. 2 x 1. Well. Legs are flexed at the knees (around 90-100 degrees) 3. From the ground to the knees the lifting is controlled. 2. Shoulders are in front of the bar 5. Starting position: 1. Basically. the bar is lifted only via leg extension. 1 x 2. back and legs extended) Catch: 1. Week 4: 2 x 2 Note: You may have noticed that I did not give a percentage or load to use. 1 x 1 Week 3: 1 x 3. it would be pretty pointless to use percentages to plan your training load! But after the first and second phase of training you should have a good idea of the weight you can handle and by now your technique should be good.This is the first step in learning the full competitive snatch. The traps contract forcefully to further accelerate the bar 5. You will catch the bar in a half squat. toes are turned slightly outward 2. Keep the traps tight to help hold the bar The loading parameters for the half-squat snatch from the floor are as follows: Week 1: 2 x 3. Traps are stretched 7. since most of you have never performed a snatch before. Head is looking forward Pull: 1. explode upward with a powerful leg and back extension 3. the back angle stays the same. do not press the weight 3. Feet are hip width. back is tightly arched 4. 2 x 2. so you can begin to lift interesting weights. Catch the bar with the arms locked. what we are looking for is for the body to look like a bow (hips forward. . Trunk is flexed.Once the bar is above the knees. Catch the bar in a half squat position 2. the switch from below the knees (slow controlled pull) to above the knees (explosion). The bar should be kept close to the body at all times 4. You start to integrate the first hard technical part of the lift. 2 x 2 Week 2: 2 x 3. Arms are straight 6.

toes are turned slightly outward 2. Basically. back is tightly arched 4. do not press the weight 3. The bar should be kept close to the body at all times 4. but explosive movement! Starting position: 1. Head is looking forward Pull: 1. So now it’s time to blend it all into one smooth. the bar is lifted only via leg extension. From the ground to the knees the lifting is controlled. back and legs extended) Catch: 1. explode upward with a powerful leg and back extension 3. Legs are flexed at the knees (around 90-100 degrees) 3. Full squat snatch from the floor The first 8 weeks of training have all being leading to this. Once the bar is above the knees. Catch the bar with the arms locked. Keep the traps tight to help hold the bar . the optimal test of functional strength! By now you should be pretty good at the pulling part of the snatch and are at ease in the overhead squat position. Arms are straight 6. 2. Trunk is flexed. You also learned to receive the bar in the full squat position. Catch the bar in a full squat position 2. what we are looking for is for the body to look like a bow (hips forward. the back angle stays the same.B. Traps are stretched 7. The traps contract forcefully to further accelerate the bar 5. Shoulders are in front of the bar 5. Feet are hip width.

1 x 2. Ideally. 2 x 3 Week 2: 3 x 4. Concentrate on rising up on the toes and contracting the traps at the same time. Snatch pull The snatch pull is the logical progression from the snatch-grip deadlift. you want to use the exact same pulling motion as during the half-squat snatch. 2 x 2 Week 2: 2 x 3.The loading parameters for the full squat snatch from the floor are as follows: Week 1: 2 x 3. start with the same load as you would in the half-squat snatch. 1 x 1 Week 3: 1 x 3. C. 2 x 2. If the load is significantly greater than during a snatch. 1 x 2. 1 x 1 Week 4: 3 x 3 In this phase you want to use the same load as you used for the full squat snatch. The loading parameters for the snatch pull are as follows: Week 1: 2 x 4. 1 x 2 Week 3: 1 x 3. Many peoples make the mistake of going way too heavy on pulls. But as you get more comfortable with the full snatch you should be able to use 10-20% more on this exercise. 3 x 3. there will be no positive transfer. . at the most 10% above what you used in that exercise. Week 4: 2 x 2 Note: At first. 2 x 1.

This drill has the same benefits as the overhead squat. Stand up with the bar on your shoulders with a snatch grip 2. The key is to lock the arms as you go down. try not to allow the bar to drop a lot. You must drop directly under the bar. Drop: 1. toes turned outward a bit 3. Feet are slightly wider than the hips. Elbows are pointing down. Drop snatch Just like the snatch pull is the progression from snatch-grip deadlifts. Trunk is solid. but it also teaches a lifter how to drop under the bar. the drop snatch is the progression from overhead squats.D. avoid excessive trunk movement. back is tight 4. You must go down very fast to beat the gravity that will pull the bar down 2. . The heels must stay on the ground 5. Starting position: 1. When you reach the lowest position stand up in a straight line. if you start bending forward you will lose the bar 3. As you squat down. try pushing the bar up (to contract the traps and stabilize the bar) 4. Avoid trunk flexion.

toes are turned slightly outward . Half-squat snatch from the floor This is the first step in learning the full competitive snatch. Feet are hip width. 1 x 2 Week 4: 3 x 5 You still need to use this valuable exercise because now you really need to be fast and stable under the bar! By now you should be able to use relatively heavy weights on this exercise. the switch from below the knees (slow controlled pull) to above the knees (explosion). Third phase of training: technical mastery (4 weeks) Monday (Snatch emphasis) Objectives: 1. to get used to dropping under the bar. You start to integrate the first hard technical part of the lift. To learn the full snatch sequence 2. You will catch the bar in a half squat. To strengthen the muscles involved in the snatch 3.The loading parameters for the drop snatch are as follows: Week 1: 2 x 5 Week 2: 5 x 5 Week 3: 3 x 3. Starting position: 1. To develop an efficient lifting technique A.

Shoulders are in front of the bar 5. 1 x 2. From the ground to the knees the lifting is controlled. 2. Full squat snatch from the floor . the bar is lifted only via leg extension. B. Week 4: 2 x 2 Note: You may have noticed that I did not give a percentage or load to use. Catch the bar in a half squat position 2. Legs are flexed at the knees (around 90-100 degrees) 3.Once the bar is above the knees. Arms are straight 6. Well. Trunk is flexed. 2 x 2.2. explode upward with a powerful leg and back extension 3. Basically. back and legs extended) Catch: 1. since most of you have never performed a snatch before. Keep the traps tight to help hold the bar The loading parameters for the half-squat snatch from the floor are as follows: Week 1: 2 x 3. 2 x 1. The traps contract forcefully to further accelerate the bar 5. what we are looking for is for the body to look like a bow (hips forward. do not press the weight 3. Catch the bar with the arms locked. 2 x 2 Week 2: 2 x 3. The bar should be kept close to the body at all times 4. it would be pretty pointless to use percentages to plan your training load! But after the first and second phases of training you should have a good idea of the weight you can handle and by now your technique should be good. 1 x 1 Week 3: 1 x 3. back is tightly arched 4. Head is looking forward Pull: 1. so you can begin to lift interesting weights. Traps are stretched 7. the back angle stays the same.

the bar is lifted only via leg extension. start with the same load as you would in the half-squat snatch. back is tightly arched 4. Shoulders are in front of the bar 5. Keep the traps tight to help hold the bar The loading parameters for the full squat snatch from the floor are as follows: Week 1: 2 x 3. the back angle stays the same. . 1 x 2. Trunk is flexed. Arms are straight 6. Basically. toes are turned slightly outward 2. Legs are flexed at the knees (around 90-100 degrees) 3. back and legs extended) Catch: 1. You also learned to receive the bar in the full squat position. From the ground to the knees the lifting is controlled. what we are looking for is for the body to look like a bow (hips forward. explode upward with a powerful leg and back extension 3. Catch the bar in a full squat position 2. Once the bar is above the knees. Feet are hip width. 1 x 1 Week 3: 1 x 3. 2 x 1. Week 4: 2 x 2 Note: At first. 2. do not press the weight 3. As you get more comfortable with the full snatch you should be able to use 10-20% more on this exercise. Catch the bar with the arms locked. but explosive movement! Starting position: 1. The traps contract forcefully to further accelerate the bar 5. 2 x 2. Traps are stretched 7. the optimal test of functional strength! By now you should be pretty good at the pulling part of the snatch and are at ease in the overhead squat position. The bar should be kept close to the body at all times 4.The first 8 weeks of training have all being leading to this. Head is looking forward Pull: 1. So now it’s time to blend it all into one smooth. 2 x 2 Week 2: 2 x 3.

If the load is significantly greater than during a snatch. D. 1 x 1 Week 4: 3 x 3 In this phase you want to use the same load as you used for the full squat snatch. Concentrate on rising up on the toes and contracting the traps at the same time. 1 x 2. 3 x 3. The loading parameters for the snatch pull are as follows: Week 1: 2 x 4. you want to use the exact same pulling motion as during the half-squat snatch. 2 x 3 Week 2: 3 x 4. 1 x 2 Week 3: 1 x 3. Ideally. there will be no positive transfer. Many peoples make the mistake of going way too heavy on pulls. Snatch pull The snatch pull is the logical progression from the snatch-grip deadlift. at the most 10% above what you used in that exercise. Drop snatch .C.

You must go down very fast to beat the gravity that will pull the bar down 2.Just like the snatch pull is the progression from snatch-grip deadlifts. Drop: 1. Trunk is solid. try not to allow the bar to drop a lot. The key is to lock the arms as you go down. try pushing the bar up (to contract the traps and stabilize the bar) 4. Avoid trunk flexion. toes turned outward a bit 3. To learn the split jerk 2. To increase technical mastery of the jerk . When you reach the lowest position stand up in a straight line. You must drop directly under the bar. 1 x 2 Week 4: 3 x 5 You still need to use this valuable exercise because now you really need to be fast and stable under the bar! By now you should be able to use relatively heavy weights on this exercise. Feet are slightly wider than the hips. the drop snatch is the progression from overhead squats. back is tight 4. but it also teaches a lifter how to drop under a bar. As you squat down. Starting position: 1. avoid excessive trunk movement. The loading parameters for the drop snatch are as follows: Week 1: 2 x 5 Week 2: 5 x 5 Week 3: 3 x 3. Elbows are pointing down. This drill has the same benefits as the overhead squat. Stand up with the bar on your shoulders with a snatch grip 2. The heels must stay on the ground 5. Tuesday (Jerk emphasis) Objectives: 1. To strengthen the muscles involved in the jerk 3. if you start bending forward you will lose the bar 3.

The loading parameters for the ¼ front squat are: Week 1: 2 x 3 Week 2: 5 x 3 Week 3: 3 x 3. 1 x 2 Week 4: 2 x 2 B. Split jerk . Once again. be careful to keep your torso straight in this movement. ¼ Front squat You will now use this exercise before the jerk so that it will have its maximal psychological benefit on the jerk.A. we want to emulate a jerk motion as much as possible.

but not too slow 3. Starting position: 1. no more The explosion: 1. The trunk remains tight 7. 3 x 2. 1 x 1 Week 3: 1 x 3. The bar is held with a clean grip or an intermediate grip 4. Push jerk . You catch the bar with one leg split forward and one leg back. Experiment to see which leg forward feels most comfortable. which I already covered. 2 x 2 Week 2: 2 x 3. The arms are immediately locked (you receive the bar with locked arms. press your hands up as fast as possible 4. not press it The catch: 1. The body is straight and tight The dip: 1. The elbows are pointed forward and down. Hold the bar with the full hand. Just as you reach the upright position. 6. You should go for a very hard push with the legs (so that the bar will leave your shoulders at the top) 3. The dip is controlled. one leg backward). You dip into a quarter squat. 1 x 2. Take the bar from the rack 2. Try to “throw” the bar upwards. no pressing of the weight) The loading parameters for the split jerk are: Week 1: 2 x 3. not just the fingertips 5. When you complete the dip quickly reverse your movement and explode upward! 2. Place it on your clavicle and shoulders 3. Lower your body in a straight line (imagine that your back is sliding on a wall) 2. not just down 6.The split jerk is basically the same as the push jerk. 2 x 1 Week 4: 3 x 2 C. The only difference is that once you jerk the bar off your shoulders you drop under the bar while doing a split (one leg forward.

but not too slow 3. The arms are immediately locked (you receive the bar with locked arms. You should go for a very hard push with the legs (so that the bar will leave your shoulders at the top) 3. Take the bar from the rack 2. Catch the bar with a slight squat under the bar 2. Try to “throw” the bar upwards. 2 x 2 Week 2: 2 x 3. When you complete the dip quickly reverse your movement and explode upward! 2. no pressing of the weight) The loading parameters for the push jerk are: Week 1: 2 x 3. Expect great gains in overhead movements from now on! Starting position: 1. not just the fingertips 5. The elbows are pointed forward and down. You dip into a quarter squat. press your hands up as fast as possible 4.Adding the push jerk to this phase of training completes the turn from a strengthdominant workout to a power-dominant workout. not press it The catch: 1. no more The explosion: 1. 1 x 1 Week 3: 1 x 3. Place it on your clavicle and shoulders 3. The dip is controlled. Just as you reach the upright position. 1 x 2. not just down 6. Lower your body in a straight line (imagine that your back is sliding on a wall) 2. 1 x 2. The body is straight and tight The dip: 1. The trunk remains tight 3. Hold the bar with the full hand. 1 x 1 Week 4: 3 x 2 . The bar is held with a clean grip or an intermediate grip 4.

flex your knees to absorb the shock The loading parameters for the loaded jump squat are: Week 1: 2 x 10 Week 2: 5 x 10 Week 3: 3 x 6 Week 4: 2 x 6 The following loads are appropriate: 500lbs+ squat: 55lbs 300-500lbs squat: 45lbs (bar only) 200-300lbs squat: 35lbs (smaller bar) 100-200lbs squat: 25lbs (still smaller bar) The load is kept constant during the whole cycle. The aim is to increase jumping height. Starting position: 1. Standing up with the bar on the back of your shoulders.D. Dip into a quarter squat and explode upward 2. Bar jump squat We will keep this fine power movement to ensure that you keep a high power production potential during this phase of training. Execution: 1. . not the weight used. Land on the ground.

The bar should be kept close to the body at all times 4. not down . Legs are flexed at the knees slightly (around 100-120 degrees) 3. To increase technical mastery of the clean A. To learn the proper clean sequence 2. At the knees explode upward with a powerful leg and back extension 3. Catch the bar on your shoulders and whip your arms around so that the elbows are pointing forward. Shoulders are in front of the bar 5. Starting position: 1. Traps are stretched 7. 2. Trunk is flexed. To strengthen the muscles involved in the clean 3.Thursday (clean emphasis) Objectives: 1. Arms are straight 6. Once again. From the ground to the knees lift the bar under control while keeping a stable torso angle. Feet are hip width. back is tightly arched 4. toes are turned slightly outward 2. Catch the bar in a half-squat 2. you lift the load under control up to the knees then explode! Catch the bar in a half-squat to get used to going under the bar. Head is looking forward Pull: 1. The traps contract forcefully to further accelerate the bar Catch: 1. Half-squat clean from the floor This is much like the half-squat snatch in that it uses the same lifting sequence as during a competitive full squat clean.

With practice you will be able to handle 10-20% more weight in this exercise. The loading parameters for the half-squat clean from the floor are as follows: Week 1: 2 x 3. B. 2 x 1. since most of you have never performed a clean before. 1 x 1 Week 3: 1 x 3. 2 x 2. 1 x 2. it would be pretty pointless to use percentages to plan your training load! But after the first and second phases of training you should have a good idea of the weight you can handle. start with the same weight as you used for the half-squat snatch. 1 x 1 Week 3: 1 x 3. Week 4: 2 x 2 Note: You may have noticed that I did not give a percentage or load to use. 2 x 2 Week 2: 2 x 3. 1 x 2. Full squat clean from floor We follow the same logic with the full squat clean as we did for the full squat snatch. 2 x 2. Just like the full squat snatch. You now must combine a powerful pull with a fast drop and catch under the bar. 2 x 2 Week 2: 2 x 3.The loading parameters for the half-squat clean from the floor are as follows: Week 1: 2 x 3. Well. Clean pull . 2 x 1. Week 4: 2 x 2 C. The key is to keep the torso solid as you catch the bar in the full squat position.

The loading parameters for the snatch pull are as follows: Week 1: 2 x 4. Concentrate on rising up on the toes and contracting the traps at the same time. Front squat You will now use two squat exercises per week to fine tune your leg strength and develop a certain comfort in the full squat clean position. 3 x 3. The loading parameters for the front squat are: Week 1: 2 x 5 Week 2: 5 x 5 Week 3: 3 x 3. Ideally. 1 x 1 Week 4: 3 x 2 D. you want to use the exact same pulling motion as during the half-squat snatch. 2 x 3 Week 2: 3 x 4. 1 x 2 Week 4: 2 x 3 Friday (Remedial exercises) Objective: 1. 1 x 2 Week 3: 1 x 3. 1 x 2. General strengthening of the muscles involved in the Olympic lifts .The clean pull is the logical progression from the clean-grip deadlift.

A. but do not cut your range of motion short. The loading parameters for the bench press are: Week 1: 2 x 5 Week 2: 5 x 5 Week 3: 3 x 3. Touch the chest and explode upwards! B. Bench press We will keep on using the bench press so that you can maintain upper body pressing strength. you can substitute in the incline bench press if you want more variation. However. Back squat . 1 x 2 Week 4: 3 x 3 Use heavy weights for this exercise.

The loading parameters for the back squat are: Week 1: 2 x 5 Week 2: 5 x 5 Week 3: 3 x 5 Week 4: 2 x 3 C. the fact is that a chain will always break at its weakest link. This drill will strengthen all the arm flexor muscles. As you gain technical mastery in the full Olympic lifts you will become more and more able to use your leg strength to its greatest extent.We reintroduce the back squat into our routine to give a little “boost” in leg strength. Although not of capital importance in Olympic lifting. Zottman curl You curl the weight with the palms up and lower it with the palms down making the muscle work hard on both the concentric and eccentric portion of the movement. hence the need to focus on leg strength at this point. The loading parameters for the Zottman curl are: Week 1: 2 x 5 Week 2: 5 x 5 Week 3: 3 x 5 Week 4: 2 x 5 .

Post-tetanic potentiation .and post-workout nutrition to maximize the training effect .Swinging into condition .Running for losing: 3 effective fat loss strategies .CHAPTER 13 Short topics In this chapter … .Posing to get lean and gain muscle control .Pre.

If you want to maximize muscle gain (and are not too concerned with getting leaner) Protein: 25-35g Carbohydrates: 60-70g Creatine: 5-10g .and post-workout meals (which I’ll give to you) have created an almost drug-like effect on my and my athlete’s performance. If that’s the case the following is adequate: Protein: 25-35g Carbohydrates: 35-45g Creatine: 5-10g Adding BCAAs to the mix would probably do wonders too. This led many coaches (including myself at some point) to recommend huge amounts of nutrients post-workout to take full advantage of the increased nutrient uptake by the muscles following resistance training. I have personally gained size twice as fast while using JB’s strategy. It leads to less muscle breakdown. fast! The Berardi plan calls for one pre-workout shake immediately before each workout to flood the bloodstream with amino acids and glucose. This really takes the hassle out of mixing your shake together as it has all the right ingredients. recent research and experience has found that splitting the post-workout meal into two smaller pre. It’s also an easier way to finish your journey through the lair of the Ice Dog. hopefully giving you a positive outlook on it all. The simpler way of doing things is to take one serving of Biotest Surge pre-workout and one serving post-workout. depending on your goals you may want to change the composition of the drinks. or those that did not warrant a full chapter or section. and I’m sure that you’ll get a lot out of it too! The post-workout meal has long been known to potentiate the training effect and increase recovery after a grueling training session.and post-workout meals works much better. But you can always mix a “home made” drink using whey protein. I’ll talk about a lot of different stuff that is not directly related. While this strategy was certainly a step in the right direction.This chapter includes topics I either left out of this book. maltodextrin. you grow big. John Berardi. and creatine. Pre. In layman’s terms. As well as one post-workout shake immediately after each workout to jump-start the recovery processes. yet are still worth talking about. more amino acid uptake by the muscle. and faster glycogen resynthesis.and Post-workout nutrition to maximize the training effect I’ll gladly admit that the nutritional strategies I currently use are based on the work of performance nutritionist extraordinaire and illustrious babe magnet international. but those of you who like it short and sweet will find this chapter very refreshing. I can honestly say that his recommendations in regard to pre. In fact. Now.

I would recommend holding each of the mandatory bodybuilding poses (there’s 7 of them. more muscular. who were competitive bodybuilders. cut the Surge in half and add one scoop of protein (preferably Low Carb Grow!). Getting lean and muscular through posing I vaguely remember being a frail 14 years old boy almost lost in a gym. but it’s actually grounded in science! Muscle control really is improved and so is resting muscle tonus. 8 if you count the “most muscular”) for 60 seconds and repeating the cycle 2 or 3 times.If you want to get lean fast (and don’t care about not gaining a lot of muscle mass) Protein: 35-45g Carbohydrates: 25-35g Creatine: 5-10g If you are using the pre-mixed Surge and you want to use option 1 (muscle gain). when your goal is to get very lean and dense. Concentrate on fully contracting the muscles at all times. Poliquin explains this phenomenon by saying that performing a heavy lift will enable you to perform better during later sets. While not sufficient to stimulate hypertrophy gains. I don’t recommend devoting a training day to posing in the gym (freaks!).” For these guys. “Hey guys. Don’t get me wrong. was important because it could influence how they would do in their show. If you want to use option 2 (fat loss). hearing a big bodybuilder shouting. One thing I noticed is that when they were practicing their posing they would seem to increase their muscle density and their degree of leanness at a much faster rate than usual.” or posing. This intrigued me to no end. Here is how Poliquin explains it: . today is mirror training. However. who’s up for some “mirror training?” Post-tetanic facilitation/potentiation (say what?) The strength training world was introduced to the term post-tetanic facilitation by strength coach and author Charles Poliquin in one of his articles (The 1-6 principle available at T-mag). simply add one serving of Gatorade powder to each drink. the contraction must be maximal. “mirror training. and will actually help you with your lifting performance. In turns out that this will make you look denser. Now. This advice may sound vain or narcissist. Now I understand that posing practice actually involves a lot of muscle control and maximal static and quasi-static muscle contractions. this type of training can increase energy expenditure as well as improve neural activation of the muscles (thus creating more tonus at rest). including a weekly posing session lasting 30-45 minutes (preferably at home when you’re alone!) can really make a difference in your appearance.

you can use a greater weight that you could have if you hadn't done the 1RM set. There are many kinds of possible potentiation. which makes the actin-myosin more sensitive to calcium in the subsequent twitch (Grange et al. especially in fast-twitch fibers (Bowman et al. the capacity to apply force decreases by 15% while this capacity is increased by 28% after 1 minute." This is very true and it’s a very effective indeed. Vandervoort et al. 33% after 2 minutes and 25% after 5 minutes (O'Leary et al. The most effective way to promote a large PTP is to place an intense stimulation on a muscle via a maximal effort/maximal tension contraction for a length of 5-10 seconds (Brown and von Euler. Potentiation A physical/muscular activity can have an effect on other subsequent activities. 2. 2000)."In a nutshell. This effect is present even 5 minutes after the tetanus (O'Leary et al. 1997). 2000). The tetanus can be explained as the summation of all the available motor-units. PTP works by increasing the phosphorylation of the myosin light chains. This is not chiefly important. during a 7 second tetanus. This increase in the capacity to produce force after a certain stimulation is called posttetanic potentiation (PTP). 1938. but. 1964). Standeart. So it appears that the capacity to produce force is greater 2-3 minutes after the cessation of the tetanic effort. 1983). The two best known ones are post-tetanic potentiation and high-frequency initial pulse potentiation. 1969. so here it is! 1. In fact. if you . The prior activity can either decrease the muscular performance in the later exercise (mostly due to the fatigue factor) or it can increase the performance during the later exercise (Abbate et al. It has been found that the force of the twitch of a muscle fiber is more important after than before the brief tetanus. But lately many people have asked what exactly is this post-tetanic facilitation phenomenon. 1993. In the second case the performance is enhanced via a phenomenon called potentiation. 1997). PTP can increase contraction strength. O'Leary et al. Post-tetanic potentiation The tetanus refers to a state of muscular activation that occurs either during a long muscular contraction (so brought on by muscular fatigue) or a very intense contraction (so brought on by a maximum contraction). 2000). Potentiation refers to an increase in force output as a result of previous muscular activation (Abbate et al. 1997). Palmer and Moore 1989. PTP also improves the rate of force development (Abbate et al. if you do a 6RM (the maximum load you can lift for 6 reps) load within 3-10 minutes of doing a max single.

For example. you can follow a maximal effort set with a set of explosive lifting (since PTP increase the rate of force development). and peak force (Mardsen et al. increases the capacity to produce force and power for up to 5-10 minutes. to rest. the rate of force development. ultimately. to training. 1971. 4. Burke et al. The terms are complex. While a proper strength training program will help you get lean. Hennig and Lomo. then perform a set of power cleans. Applications of PTP Coach Poliquin gives us a very good way to use PTP to increase size and strength with his 1-6 training.wish.” As most of you probably already know. 5. understand that HFIP occurs at the start of ballistic movements (Abbate et al. By understanding the basic premise of PTP you will be able to find your own ways to apply this phenomenon to your own training! Running for losing To get very lean and muscular you must have pretty much everything in order. I believe that interval training and/or long distance sprints are optimal to maximize fat loss while retaining muscle mass. rest 3 minutes. with a peak occurring 2-3 minutes after the maximal effort. From diet. So it's basically word play that means the same thing! Just to give you an idea. or effort. post-activation potentiation (PAP). it is really hard to get a high degree of leanness without some “road work. I’m not a big fan of low-intensity cardio work. there is yet another term to describe that same phenomenon. 2000) and that it increases the power output. I am going to present to you three . I feel that it can have a negative effect on strength and. While it’s adequate for fat loss. High Frequency Initial Pulse Potentiation (HFIP) While this phenomenon is outside the scope of this article. Post-tetanic Facilitation (or post-tetanic potentiation) Post-tetanic facilitation (PTF) is simply another term for post-tetanic potentiation. 3. 1985). Both mean the same thing. PTF means that the tetanus facilitates a subsequent effort. muscle mass. For example. you could perform a heavy deadlift. you can grab a physiology textbook and review the sliding filament theory of muscular contraction to see how this would increase the capacity to produce force. while PTP means that the tetanus increases the potential for a subsequent effort. 1981. but don't let them fool you… the basic premise is simple: A maximal/near maximal muscular contraction. But PTP can be used for other purposes. He also gives us a good way to use it for strength with his wave loading approach.

they were getting leaner but stronger! I then experimented with 400m for fat-loss purposes and found time after time how efficacious it truly was. RI 5 x 400m 90 sec. RI 6 x 400m 70 sec. shape RI* 3 x 400m Good shape 90 sec. RI 4 x 400m 120 sec. RI 5 x 400m 90 sec. RI 5 x 400m 90 sec. RI 7 x 400m 60 sec. RI 6 x 400m 70 sec. The following table will give you a good starting point. RI 3 x 400m 120 sec. RI 4 x 400m 120 sec. RI 6 x 400m 90 sec. RI 4 x 400m 90 sec. RI 4 x 400m 90 sec. RI 4 x 400m 90 sec. RI 4 x 400m 120 sec. RI 9 x 400m 60 sec. interval build-up running. and my personal favorite. Furthermore. RI* *RI: Rest Intervals Bad shape 3 x 400m 120 sec. RI Interval running Interval running is another great way of burning body fat without jeopardizing your efforts to gain muscle and strength. 400m running I discovered the high fat burning potency of 400m sprints without really looking for it. RI 7 x 400m 90 sec. RI 8 x 400m 70 sec. RI* Great shape 4 x 400m 90 sec. RI 5 x 400m 120 sec.possible methods to use for getting defined: 400m runs. RI 5 x 400m 70 sec. RI 7 x 400m 70 sec. RI* 3 x 400m Average 120 sec. RI 7 x 400m 90 sec. . It combines low-intensity and high-intensity work for a very large fat-burning effect. RI 6 x 400m 90 sec. interval running. RI 6 x 400m 90 sec. RI 6 x 400m 90 sec. A good program to use is illustrated in the following table. Condition Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 2 x 400m 120 sec. Basically. RI 5 x 400m 90 sec. RI 7 x 400m 70 sec. To this day I still believe that few things can match up with 400m runs for fat loss. RI 5 x 400m 90 sec. RI 6 x 400m 70 sec. RI 7 x 400m 60 sec. I quickly noticed how lean they were getting shortly after starting 400m runs. RI* Elite athlete 5 x 400m 90 sec. you will alternate between slow-pace running (slow jog) and fast-pace running (sprint). RI 8 x 400m 60 sec. RI 5 x 400m 90 sec. However. RI 4 x 400m 90 sec. RI 6 x 400m 90 sec. mostly because it develops the energy system they require the most during a game. Only perform one 400m workout per week. I use a lot of 400m running with my hockey players. RI 5 x 400m 70 sec.

fast x7 Week 2 60 s. jog 30 s. jog 15 s. jog 45 s. jog 45 s. jog 45 s. fast x7 60 s. fast x 10 60 s. jog 45 s. jog 15 s. jog 15 s. jog 15 s. fast x6 60 s. jog 45 s. fast x 11 Week 8 60 s. fast x5 60 s. fast x7 60 s. fast x7 60 s. fast x7 60 s. jog 15 s. fast x7 60 s. give IBUR a try. fast x8 60 s. jog 45 s. but if all you’re interested is fat loss. Here’s an example: Interval portion Speed 1a Jog 1b Sprint 2a Jog 2b Sprint 3a Jog 3b Sprint 4a Jog 4b Sprint 5a Jog 5c Sprint 6a Jog 6b Sprint Total Duration 30 seconds 20 seconds 60 seconds 30 seconds 90 seconds 40 seconds 120 seconds 50 seconds 150 seconds 60 seconds 180 seconds 70 seconds 15 minutes This is the workout I used myself. fast x9 60 s. fast x6 60 s. jog 45 s. fast x7 60 s. fast x6 60 s. fast x9 60 s. jog 45 s. jog 45 s. jog 15 s. fast x8 60 s. jog 30 s. jog 45 s. jog 15 s. fast x9 60 s. jog 45 s. jog 15 s. fast x8 60 s. jog 45 s. fast x9 Week 4 60 s. fast x 10 60 s. fast x9 60 s.Condition Bad shape Average shape Good shape Great shape Elite athlete Week 1 60 s. jog 30 s. fast x8 Week 5 60 s. You won’t be sorry! . fast x9 Week 6 60 s. jog 15 s. fast x6 60 s. fast x8 60 s. fast x8 60 s. jog 15 s. fast x6 60 s. fast x6 60 s. jog 15 s. jog 45 s. fast x 10 Week 7 60 s. fast x7 60 s. jog 15 s. fast x6 60 s. jog 45 s. jog 15 s. jog 30 s. fast x7 60 s. fast x7 60 s. fast x7 60 s. jog 30 s. fast x8 60 s. jog 45 s. but with each cycle (or each interval) the duration of the sprint and jog phases increase in length. fast x8 Week 3 60 s. jog 30 s. fast x8 Interval build-up running This is my personal favorite fat-burning strategy. jog 45 s. jog 15 s. I used it 3 times per week and it led to a marked decrease in body fat. For athletes it may not be the most specific method available. jog 30 s. fast x5 60 s. fast x6 60 s. jog 15 s. jog 15 s. IBUR is based on many of the same principles as regular interval training. jog 30 s.

When I wake up in the morning. four things that keep me grounded and remind me that regardless of what happens in my life I will always have at least something solid to hold on to: 1. this “special” form of GPP work is none other than “swinging!” By swinging I don’t mean going to special clubs where you can loan your wife to some other individual who will let you use his own loved one in return. wheelbarrow. hill sprints. Let me first tell you that regardless of how much specialized work you do.Swinging into condition In life I have only four certainties. GPP work can actually help you recover and develop specific qualities needed for your sport. 3. That’s true regardless of your sport or activity of choice. things that are solid as a rock. if you are not in good physical condition you will not be able to perform at your best. farmers walk. a new day begins I am particularly fond of big breasted vixens A solid workout should revolve around “multi-joint” exercises General Physical Preparation (GPP) work is one of the keys to athletic success That’s it! Whatever happens in my life I can keep myself afloat by reminding myself of things that don’t change. I won’t keep you waiting much longer. as it’s probably the hardest to understand and visualize as a concept. Some of the most popular and most recent forms of GPP work include sled dragging. 2. but I digress… . These forms of training as well as their benefits are well documented. The objective of any training program is to bring you into peak condition. etc. Yet it is one of the best ways to develop sporting performance. I agree that this form of activity could also be a form of GPP work. I would like to take time to address the fourth of my certainties. Well. 4. and power. flexibility. But a form of GPP work has been completely forgotten. it’s impossible to develop peak condition without a proper base constructed out of a rock solid general condition. carrying objects. strength. Furthermore.

For our GPP purposes I suggest replacing the Indian clubs with plain old wooden baseball bats (the heavier the better). rotational strength. Kettlebells or dumbbells The objective is to swing one of these objects for a specific length of time (3-15 minutes depending on your level of conditioning). or even a pair of dumbbells (5-10lbs) The routine to be used is similar in structure to Coach John Davies’ rope jumping program. swinging constitutes a form of dynamic flexibility training (both the training method and the lifestyle fits this last point). It can weigh anywhere between 2 and 20lbs (some are even heavier). . The sources of resistance and the exercises that I am going to demonstrate include: a. These movements can build tremendous strength endurance. shoulder flexibility. Furthermore. and shoulder stability. and you can buy some on the internet. Indian club GPP routine An Indian club is a stick that looks like a big bowling pin. Meaning that you do 4 different Indian club exercises. torso strength. they are quite expensive. and overall body power. and repeat the pattern until you have reached the total GPP time. Sledgehammers c. Indian clubs b. There are still some of these clubs around. The clubs have long been used to develop upper body musculature.Swinging refers to arm and torso swings while holding a source of resistance. However. The exercises used were various types of arm circles while holding the clubs in your hands. each for 30 – 60 seconds.

This is a very hard task.Indian club exercise parameters Exercise Backward circles Front raises Alternate raises Small circle in front Duration 30 seconds 30 seconds 30 seconds 30 seconds Comments Reach back as far as possible. Iron clad shoulders 2. keep trunk stable Cock wrist at the end of the movement Emphasise full range of motion. A more advanced trainee (and a better conditioned one) should have the objective of completing 8 full cycles without rest (16 total minutes). Beginners should strive to complete 3 cycles without resting (6 total minutes). Do not let the simplicity or apparent “sissy” look of these exercises fool you. slow pace Rapid circles. Dynamic flexibility at the shoulder joint . keep arms fully extended Each 4-exercise cycle lasts 2 minutes. This routine will give you: 1. Fantastic strength-endurance in the shoulder muscles 3.

but you are encouraged to find your own ideas. I was immediately won over by this concept and contacted Mike right away to tell him how fantastic his idea was. Mike Hartle for this GPP idea. Hartle recommends using a big tire as a target as this will absorb the blow without breaking. Rarely do we develop the capacity to develop it horizontally or diagonally. . both of which are very important in many sports. Furthermore. sledgehammer work will build a grip of steel and the forearms of a bear! I will give you a few basic examples of sledgehammer swinging. I believe that every athlete involved in a sport where shoulder/rotator cuff injuries are common should use this form of GPP training. The good doctor wrote a 7-part article on how to use a sledgehammer for GPP work. The basic premise of sledgehammer work is that in the gym we often develop the capacity to apply force vertically.4. Sledgehammer GPP routine I must credit Dr. Tremendous rotator cuff strength For those reasons. Greater shoulder stability in all planes of motion 5. Dr. Sledgehammer work can thus be a fantastic complement to regular strength training by really putting a strong emphasis on lateral and rotational strength.

I am personally very fond of the kettlebell “exercises. let alone a complete set. 53. 2. In fact. And because of their high cost. 3. Build a rock solid trunk Develop every muscle in the abdominal belt optimally Increase arm and torso strength Increase hand strength Kettlebell or dumbbell GPP routine A kettlebell is an old-time Russian training apparatus.” however I do not feel that doing them with a kettlebell carries a significantly greater advantage over using a dumbbell. if anything. I would say that the main reason for the success of kettlebells is that they are different from the usual gym material and thus can have a certain mystique that is very seductive. dumbbells will do just fine. 36. 18. 4. I still feel that a GPP program based on kettlebell/dumbbell swings is very effective to build muscle endurance and muscle size. The objective should be to do as much hitting as possible during the prescribed time frame. right hand only helps to bring up the hammer A complete cycle of those three exercises will last 10 minutes. If you can do 2 full cycles without any rest it’s time to either increase the weight of the sledgehammer or increase the density of your blows. kettlebells have the drawback of only coming in certain weights (9. It is one of the precursors of the modern dumbbell. Sledgehammer work will: 1. left hand only helps to bring up the hammer Lead with left hand. . and 88lbs). few individuals can afford to buy one kettlebell.Sledgehammer exercise parameters Exercise Downward swing Right cross body Left cross body Duration 4 minutes 3 minutes 3 minutes Comments Initiate downswing with a trunk flexion Lead with right hand. Both are very successful kettlebell proponents. However you do not have to use kettlebells. Kettlebell swinging has gained in popularity because of the work of Pavel Tsatsouline and Coach John Davies. It looks like a small bowling ball with a metal handle. 71.

For the one arm split swings you start with your weaker arm. PERIOD! You use the same load for all exercises. and guys with great recovery capacities. can perform up to 3 giant sets per workout. For most individuals I recommend only one giant set per training session. .Dumbbell / Kettlebell exercise parameters Exercise Two arm swing Left arm split swing Right arm split swing Repetitions 30 10 10 Comments Lift with hips first and finish with shoulders Split forward with the left leg Split forward with the right leg All three exercises are done as a giant set (no rest between exercises). you’ll find soon enough how hard it is! But Gung-Ho individuals. This will build cannonball shoulders and meaty traps like nothing else.

If you want to emphasize overall athletic abilities then option 1 might be best.” during which you only do GPP work. Option 2 is best suited for individuals who want to specialize in one type of GPP work.Fitting swinging into a training week There are three options for how to include swinging training in your weekly routine: 1. You can add sled pulling on a fourth training day 2. Only pick one of these methods and use it 2-3 times per week after your regular workouts 3. Select all three methods and perform all three during a special “GPP training day. It’s just a matter of finding which one suits your needs the best. Select all three methods and perform each one once per week on different days. And that’s a certainty! . while option 3 is well adjusted for individuals who want to get in good physical condition while trying to gain as much strength as possible. But the important point to remember is that this type of special GPP work will make a better athlete out of you and it will do wonders to help prevent injuries. All three options will work quite well.

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